The new building of
Oulu University’s School of Architecture, is based on the winning entry in
an open design competition that was held in 2000.
The completion of the new building, which is the first one in the city block
in 100 years, implies that the School of Architecture no longer faces the
threat of relocation from the city center. The world’s northernmost school
of architecture will continue to operate its own mini-campus at the school’s
The architecture starts from the characteristics of the site. The firebreak
alley, with its birch trees, forms the backbone of the design. The layout of
the building mass and the color of the façade react to the scale and texture
of the block. A cross-shaped indoor-street divides the building into four
parts. The shape of the roof follows the division and gives the building a
strong identity in the cityscape and in its interior space. Central aims are
to integrate a modern building into a historic block and to expose the
activities of the School of Architecture to the community.
The building contains the teaching- and workshop facilities for two design
laboratories and several common facilities; a main auditorium, an exhibition
space and a cafeteria.
In general, the architecture strives to create structural clarity, a sense
of spatial qualities through plain detailing, and a neutral backdrop for the
creative activities of the school of architecture.
The range of materials project authenticity and a rugged workshop-like