The newly renovated Teacher Training School of the University of Turku opened its doors for pupils at the beginning of January. The building is almost unrecognisable after the many improvements made during the successful project.
The school building, completed in 1980, did not suffer from any particular problems, but it had simply reached the end of its service life. The school needed more space and the air conditioning system was in need of overhaul. Most importantly, the premises needed to be adapted to the needs of contemporary education.
“The renovation project went very smoothly. We stayed on schedule and within budget, and our premises were modernised to correspond with today’s pedagogical needs,” says Veli-Matti Hakanen, Administrative Principal of the Teacher Training School of the University of Turku.
The renovation was implemented in the form of a project management contract, with SYK as the main developer and Skanska as the main contractor.
“I would give top marks to everyone involved in the project. Cooperation between the various parties involved was seamless, and our opinions as the users of the premises were taken into consideration to a good extent during the project,” Hakanen explains.
New premises change the way pupils learn.
One major change was taking educational needs into account in the design of the premises in new ways.
Classroom acoustics must enable many different concurrent activities. The premises must also be adaptable to individual work, work in pairs and activities that involve the entire class.
The use of colours helps set the different facilities apart. The building was designed to feature a path of growth: as children grow from first-graders to upper secondary school students, they move to the upper floors of the building.
The new premises also enable new kinds of collaboration between classes and school subjects. The building has a wing dedicated to the arts, as well as wings for crafts and sciences.
“Traditional approaches to teaching are very different from the way people now share information on a day-to-day basis, on social media, for example,” Hakanen explains.