The Lumijoki log school in Oulu, by Luo architects

Luo architects designed the Lumijoki log school in Oulu, Finland, an example of green architecture, made with locally-sourced natural materials

Luo Architects-scuola ecosostenibile

Luo architects designed the Lumijoki log school in Oulu, Finland, an eco-friendly building made with natural materials reminiscent of traditional buildings in the area. Designed by Virve Väisänen, it offers the local rural community a new school with healthy and comfortable environments designed to ensure pupils’ well-being.

The sustainable school by Luo architects

Made of logs and painted with the traditional red paint typical of the area, the new structure consists of two blocks. One follows the direction of the village’s main street, the other the grid of the existing school buildings. The school, designed by Luo architects in Lumijoki, houses eight classrooms, two learning environments for younger children, and an outdoor courtyard where children can play. The classrooms are divided by a folding wall that can be used to join multiple classrooms and allow for co-teaching, i.e., group lessons taught by multiple teachers.

Luo architects

To maximize the healthiness of all spaces and to avoid moisture inside the classrooms, the structure rests on a ventilated foundation in line with traditional local construction techniques; walls feature a protective wood cladding, while the restrooms and handwashing facilities are located at the center of the building.

Virve Väisänen from Luo architects explains: “Wood material has health benefits, both physiological and psychological: in addition to the benefits of better indoor air quality and acoustics, research shows that wooden classroom interior actually reduces pupil’s stress. Furthermore, the wooden building functions as a carbon storage. Traditional building methods have been tested through time and tough conditions. In order to fight the climate change and reduce the carbon spikes of new construction, we should find ways to make buildings last longer. In the Lumijoki log school case, the radically traditional approach resulted in a sustainable building.”

Text: Arianna Callocchia / Photo: Raimo Ahonen (interior views), Heikki Salmi (exterior views)

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