Kirkkojärvi School is on the edge of the Espoo river valley. Beautiful views of the river valley and Kirkkojärvi Park open up from this spectacular lookout point. The entrance of the school is one storey higher than the valley, and the school is on an artificial slope so that the floodwaters of the Espoonjoki River do not reach it. The height difference of the schoolyards varies. Retaining walls, stairs, and an amphitheatre disguise the height differences.
The construction site was on the old bottom of the lake and the layer of clay is 20 metres thick in places. Building the school required a fair amount of investment into underground structures. The yards are stabilised or built with pile foundations.
The theme of the yard is playful, with circular shapes that have planting and seating. The circles lead the visitor to the main entrance and the shape continues on the other side of the building on the valley side.
The schoolyards are situated between the blocks of buildings. Besides the play yards, there are also a learning yard, outdoor auditorium, sports field and space for other sports activities. In the schoolyard can be found regional stones and common tree species in Finland.
The yard is based on an architectural competition won by Verstas architects.
Landscape architect: Loci
Photographs: Pyry Kantonen Photography
Architect: Verstas Architects
Project location: Kotikyläntie 6, 02770 Espoo, Finland
Client: City of Espoo
Design and completion: 2006 / 2010