Kastelli Community Centre is a place for learning, education, sports and culture.
The many users of the Centre include a comprehensive school, an upper secondary school for youth and adults and a library. There are also facilities for adult education and a youth centre. A wide range of differently sized sports halls serve athletic clubs after the school day. The largest gym with a telescopic auditorium is used also for basketball and volleyball games at national league level.
Due to the complexity of the project, the city of Oulu arranged a two-phased design competition in 2009 -2010. The entry called “hyrrä” (“gyroscope”) was declared the winner of the anonymous competition. The winning entry succeeded in segmenting the impressive public building volume into small-scale parts that together make up an attractive village and strengthen the sense of community. Children’s size and playfulness was taken into account at all design stages and with regard to the colour design.
The functions of the centre are divided into smaller units according to age groups, providing better orientation. The walkways and the schoolyards are also designed according to the age grouping.
The evaluation of various learning environments was one of the key aspects of the design, as there are several schools in the centre. The users took part in the first stage of the spatial design and it was continued together with educational specialists. The design resulted in a flexible, adaptable, stimulating and safe learning environment that can be adapted to future new teaching and learning methods.
The central lobby of the centre is communal and its sculptural design, materials and colours give the building its own visual character. The canteen and the library are located in this spatially rich lobby area. The lobby is also used as a foyer for public events. The curvilinear lounge spaces in the lobby connect the comprehensive school and the upper secondary school on the first floor. The concrete structures and the dendriform concrete columns are cast in-situ.
Special attention was also paid to the schoolyard design. Outdoor furniture, groups of plants, green mounds, a comprehensive colour design and asphalt paintings enliven the stimulating yards. The large yard around the building is divided by landscaping into smaller niches suitable for various age groups. This design is aligned with the architecture of the building. The noise barrier towards the nearby busy street and its relation to the immediate surroundings has been also regulated by means of landscape architecture.