Nepenmäki School

Nepenmäki School in Joensuu, Finland is a primary school for over 600 students and 80 staff members. It provides pre-school education and inclusive basic education for grades 1-9 with three-tiered support system. “Our school attempts to build a safe, encouraging and creative atmosphere in all its activities. Our new facilities support this operating idea in the best possible way”, says Jyrki Huusko, the principal of Nepenmäki School.

The premises of Nepenmäki School are in active use throughout the day, as the school building also serves the community as a versatile service and activity center. Therefore, the premises were designed and furnished to be flexible and easily transformable. E.g. in the canteen, all furniture is easy to move: the tables are foldable and equipped with casters and the chairs stack lightly. To enhance the hygiene in high-touch surfaces, the canteen was equipped with ISKU+ antimicrobial table tops that prevent the spread of microbes and hence reduce the risk of infection.

Acoustic management

In the interior design, a lot of emphasis was put to the needs of the wide variety of users. “The school needs to offer ideal learning environments also for learners with special needs. The acoustics of the spaces and the harmony of colors help especially them, but support naturally every learner. The acoustic management in the premises were taken into account carefully by using soft furniture and partitions inventively to block the noise”, says Tiina Jalava, ISKU’s interior designer.

In a school with a large number of students, special attention needs to be paid to the acoustics of the corridors and other common areas. The furniture solutions of the corridors and lobbies connecting the classrooms are selected creatively but purposefully: The upholstered furniture solutions not only improve the acoustic conditions, but also provide sheltered learning spots to work alone or in small groups. At the same time they control the people flow like roundabouts.

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