Designing a school for communal knowledge creation

The competition proposal 'Sibbesby' for Sipoonlahti school campus aims to develop the school as a village of knowledge under one roof. The campus becomes a diverse learning environment for the entire community, from young children during the day to adults in various evening activities. The new school typology allows for an efficient spatial program and supports the sustainable development of the local community in Söderkulla. The solution offers a new learning space model that encourages diversity in learning as well as supports the various learning needs of children in different ages.

Location: Sipoo, Finland

Program: Extension of Sipoonlahti School and Campus Plan

Size: 20 000 m2

Status: Honorary mention in invitational competition 2016

Client: Municipality of Sipoo

Collaborators: COBE, Ramboll Finland Oy, Granlund Oy, Helimäki Akustikot Oy, Learning Spaces

Team: Eero Lundén, Maija Parviainen, Ron Aasholm, Carmen Lee, Emma Koivuranta, Vanessa Arias

The extension of Sipoonlahti School is a village of knowledge under one roof. The new school complex works as a multifunctional center for the whole surrounding community. During the day, it is an inspiring learning landscape for children, while in the evening the building serves as meeting place, workshop area and communal activities center.

‘Sibbesby’ offers students the opportunity to learn in the best possible way, and provides new facilities for teachers to work together on phenomenon based learning methods.  The existing school building is transformed into an exciting platform for project based learning where laboratories connect with workshops and arts spaces. The eight learning cells for the comprehensive school center around a public heart area. The effective plan creates visual and functional links between the spaces without complex corridors. All lobby spaces are easily utilized for learning and communal activities. Sipoonlahti school extension becomes a flexible learning center, covered with a floating wooden ceiling resting on concrete columns.




Spatial solutions of the learning spaces are based on the concept of diversity in learning situations and methods, as well as the different needs of children in different ages. The home cells offer spaces with different conditions, both for project work in groups, as well as for lecture situations and individual concentration.  All home cells are connected to sheltered and quiet green courtyards, which can be used as extensions of the learning space.

"Sibbesby offers a fresh novel approach to prevalent school architecture and proposes new spatial and pedagogical solutions."