Päiväkoti Martta Wendelin, Tuusula

Päiväkoti Martta Wendelin, located in Tuusula, was Finland's largest daycare center in terms of the amount of solid wood when it was completed. In the spring of 2023, Päiväkoti Martta Wendelin won the significant international press wooden architecture award, and the daycare center Martta Wendelin received the recognition it deserved as a pioneer of Finnish wooden architecture (photo: Puuinfo/Mika Huisman). 

Päiväkoti Martta Wendelin is a daycare center for ten early childhood education and care groups that offers daycare and pre-primary education places for around 200 children. The building’s versatile and flexible spaces include, among other things, a gym suitable for evening use, a studio suitable for basic art education, a dining room and office spaces. In addition, the kindergarten has a large yard area.

The daycare facilities are designed to support children’s learning and well-being and to create an optimal environment for children’s development. The primary goal of the design has been a safe and peaceful operating environment, which has been achieved by using wood as a building material, favoring a restrained color palette and taking care of light, good ventilation and pleasant acoustics.

The interior of the kindergarten shows the art of the visual artist Martta Wendelin, who gave the kindergarten its name. Wendelin’s art brings visual joy and inspiration to the milieu. Martta Wendelin was one of the most famous Finnish illustrators of the early 20th century, known especially as an illustrator of cards, covers and story books.

Päiväkoti Martta Wendelin was built in compliance with the environmental criteria of the official ecolabel of the Nordic countries, Nordic Swan Ecolabel (Joutsenmerkki), which emphasizes low energy consumption, good indoor air and the reuse and recyclability of building components. The vision of the Nordic Swan Ecolabel is a sustainable society, in which future generations can benefit from the same conditions and opportunities as we ourselves do. The criteria guarantee the building’s environmental friendliness throughout its entire life cycle. These were taken into account both in the construction phase and in the future operation of the daycare center. In August 2022, the Päiväkoti Martta Wendelin received its own Nordic Swan Eclobale as well-deserved recognition for its positive impact on people’s health and the environment.

Päiväkoti Martta Wendelin, Tuusula. Kuva: Hannu Rytky.
The facade of the building uses vertical larch cladding tinted with translucent paint (photo: Puuinfo/Hannu Rytky).

The use of solid wood is increasing rapidly

In a few years, solid wood has become a trendy material also in public construction projects. Public sector wooden construction is accelerated by the national goals set by the Ministry of the Environment. The goal is for wooden buildings to account for 45 percent of all new public buildings in 2025.

In the implementation of Päiväkoti Martta Wendelin CLT solid wood elements were used. CLT elements, which are consist of wood boards that have been stacked crosswise on top of each other and glue-laminated together, are environmentally friendly and reduce the carbon footprint. The outer lining was made of weather resistant larch panels. The project’s environmental impact and life cycle carbon footprint were evaluated using the evaluation method of the Finnish Ministry of the Environment.

Päiväkoti Martta Wendelin, Tuusula. Kuva: Hannu Rytky.
Light wood surfaces, restrained use of colors and bright spaces create a safe and calm environment. The interior of the daycare center uses the artwork of the beloved visual artist Martta Wendelin (Wendelin's art in the picture in the door on the left; photo: Puuinfo/Hannu Rytky).

Deserved international recognition

Päiväkoti Martta Wendelin received the international recognition and visibility it deserved after winning a major wood architecture prize awarded by the international press in the spring of 2023. The award was announced at the Forum International Bois Construction event in the city of Lille, France, on the April 13th. 2023.

The annual wooden architecture award in question was awarded for the fifth time. The purpose of the award is to highlight excellence in wooden architecture, encourage innovative architecture and unite those countries where wooden construction is valued. The award jury consisted of representatives of five magazines focusing on wood construction and architecture, who chose the winner from among the nine nominated buildings. In its assessment, the jury especially praised the use of CLT panels.

The international award is proof of the building’s high quality and innovation and strengthens Päiväkoti Martta Wendelin’s reputation and status as a pioneer of top-class Finnish wooden architecture.

Päiväkoti Martta Wendelin, Tuusula. Kuva: Hannu Rytky.
The Päiväkoti Martta Wendelin is a two-story P2 fire class wooden building. The building is equipped with sprinklers. The exterior walls, load-bearing partitions and intermediate floors are made of the cross-laminated timber elements (CLT). In the interior, the CLT elements have mostly left exposed (photo: Puuinfo/Hannu Rytky).

Our services in the project

For us, Päiväkoti Martta Wendelin was an quite ordinary work, where we used traditional fire safety design according to preset fire classes and numerical values based on the Decree 848/2017 on the fire safety of buildings by Ministry of the Environment. In this case we did not apply performance-based fire safety design. Because the building is a rather large two-story wooden daycare designed for P2 fire class, the size of the fire compartment required an automatic fire suppression systems. The “double staircase” descending from the second floor was perhaps the most unusual detail. In addition to the two stairs that are normally used, the second floor can be exited through two separate stairwells.

In the project, we worked as part of the building’s design team and guided the building’s design from the point of view of fire safety. We had a project plan as a starting point. We were involved in the general building design, building permit phase and the commissioning process of the building. We prepared a fire engineering and smoke extraction plans for the site and consulted the design team. We did not give statements about the object.

We also participated in the supervision during construction, for example we ensured the implementation of the site according to the fire safety design. We were also present during the special fire inspection of the site (a fire inspection by the rescue authority before the commissioning inspection by the building inspectorate).

The planning of the building lasted from 2018 to 2020, its construction began in 2020, and it was completed in May 2022. The daycare started operating on August 1, 2022. The municipality of Tuusula was the developer of the daycare center, and Architects Frondelius + Keppo + Salmenperä Oy were responsible for its design. The general contractor of the building was Arkta Rakennuskultti Oy.


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