How does today’s school look and sound?
The Hämeenkylä school was completed in the autumn of 2020, and there they’ve a whole different approach for how the learning environment should be. It considers how acoustics and adaptability influence the learning environment and the student's ability to perform.
Before planning for the new Hämeenkylä school in Vantaa, the design and architect team invited the students, parents and residents of the area to a workshop to figure out what was the important factors. As well as how the interior design would benefit as many as possible. It was clear that teamwork, the adaptability of facilities and great acoustics were playing an important role for the school life.
In modern school, interaction between pupils is increasingly important. The sound must be heard, but it must not be echoed. Both students and teachers should have a sufficient working peace and the soundscapes in the classrooms should help cooperation, concentration and collaboration.
The modern school focus on acoustic solutions to optimise the surroundings for the students to perform and concentrate better. They looked for solutions outside the educational field and the result is outstanding.
Acoustics in teaching facilities are a skill
Some of the facilities at Hämeenkylä School are originally designed for other purposes. For example, the dining room in the lobby serves as an auditorium for gatherings, parties or other things that need space. They opted for Rockfon Industrial Black acoustic panels to keep the high-space soundscape comfortable behind the wooden staging of the dining room ceiling.
Hämeenkylä's original school building is built in the 1970s and it suffered from significant indoor air problems and a lot of moisture damages. The building was demolished in 2016, and the municipal decided to build a brand-new unified school to house students in grades from 1 to 9 grade. The new school building was commissioned at the beginning of the autumn term 2020, and today nearly 800 pupils are studying and having their daily routines at the school.
"In terms of acoustics, schools, and especially their adaptable facilities, have become increasingly challenging over the years," says Jari Kivistö, Regional Sales Manager at Rockfon.
School buildings have experienced great challenges and upheaval over the years. The schools need to be more modern and ease new learning trends so they must have more open spaces, different types of facilities and offer quiet rooms for concentration like what we know from the office world.
"Nowadays, schools are downright hi-tech. The teacher no longer teaches behind the catheter, but their voice must still be heard everywhere. It can be a challenge as you must be careful not to overdo and change the way of teaching”. Kivistö continues.
Industrial look on the acoustic panels
The lower ceilings of the classrooms were Rockfon Color-all in the tone: gravel. Some facilities have 40mm Rockfon Koral ceiling tiles installed due to its effective absorption of low sound frequencies.
There is a glimpse of industrial style in the school's interior. There are rough concrete surfaces that have been left visible in the stairwells and canteen, and shades of grey are also repeated on other surfaces. The concrete is softened by the warm reddish tones and wooden decorations of the interior.
"The concrete style became a fun-looking whole. The acoustic ceiling was also coloured. The colour was grey, but in that sense, it was an atypical solution that often the acoustic roofs of schools are white," Kivistö says.
The acoustic ceiling and wall solutions doesn't have to be white, there are other options. Rockfon Color-all tiles are particularly suitable for concrete-surfaced spaces.