Lumit Academy of Arts / Lukkairoinen Architects
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Manufacturers: GRAPHISOFT, Aura ST Team, Window, HSL Group, MONEY-WEN Finland , Jukola industries, Knauf, Kone Oyj, Koolmat Desso, Lumir Oy, Mapei Ultratop, will put, Nordtreat Finland , Purso, Puupäpänliike Peltoniemi Oy, Raita Sport Oy, Saint-Gobain Finland, Ecophon, Solibri, Tambest Glass solutions, Lumber+1-1
Text description provided by the architects. At Lumit Gymnasium you can enjoy good theater performances, experience belonging and togetherness and listen to spontaneous musical performances in the breaks. Kuopio Academy of Arts, which has moved into a new building, is a nationally significant contribution to the teaching and learning of performing arts. The high school with 600 students specializes in creative subjects such as music, dance and expressive arts. Inaugurated in autumn 2022, it will be the first completed part of the Kuopionlahti waterfront. It will also be the first new school building in central Kuopio in 100 years.
Lumit’s design was part of a public architectural competition in 2017, which sought to find a vision for the development of the Kuopionlahti area. The coastal area of Kuopionlahti, when completed, will become a large urban cultural center where the built environment will be in balance with the surrounding nature. The goal was to create a learning environment that would equip users to teach performing arts and study professionally. The challenges were not only the very specific space program and educational activities, but also the building’s role as a shared cultural building that will host a number of public events.
Lumit has three main entrances to the main foyer and lobby areas. Most of the public functions and halls are located at street level, next to the lobbies, making them easily accessible, especially for event use. The music and dance rooms are located close to the halls, so that their activities can also be seen (and heard) on the building’s facades.
At the heart of the interior space is a multi-directional performance stage, which can be simultaneously opened up in three directions with sliding walls: the sports hall, the restaurant and the central auditorium. The groups of rooms are arranged in tiers around the grandstand staircase and its lobby. The solution allows for a zone hierarchy with open learning environments that emphasize group work in connection with the lobby and more focused learning spaces on the outer edges of the floor.
The school’s Black Box multi-theatre hall, special music learning rooms and dance halls provide exceptional conditions for cultural and artistic learning. The extensive theater and performance equipment as well as carefully designed acoustics have been a particular focus in the design. Black Box Hall is the only performance space of its kind in Finland for school use.
The new building takes into account the special characteristics of its surroundings, such as the traditional Kuopio grid city plan and beach landscape. The staircase under the canopy connects indoor and outdoor spaces and also serves as an outdoor auditorium, performance space and outdoor classroom. The canopy also protects the glass surfaces of the lobbies from excessive heat and weather conditions. Lumit’s light gray brick facade forms a discreet shell for the busy streets, but opens out to the street and parks in the warm wooden cladding. As the large halls have windowless facades, the brick facades are nuanced with different laying patterns to create interest.
Lumit is a shared, functional and safe high school, where the spatial design emphasizes visual connections and openness, but also the opportunity to retreat and relax. The pulse of the new cultural building can be felt from the surrounding streets and squares, as the 24-hour activity can be seen and heard from outside.