The architectural solution of Rapla Secondary School is based on the school’s unique plot: the natural terrain bordered with the river on three sides. The extension is in the middle of the riverbend with panoramic views of the surrounding landscape and the south-facing yard.
The Estonian Association of Interior Architects annual award 2019 nominee
The Union of Estonian Architects annual award 2018 nominee
The building is crisp and clean, we just couldn’t see how it works with the students. The way the spaces are organized, linked together into a fluid system, also combined with the small scale of the building, all left a very positive impression. It is a more grown-up school: you can see that it is a high school not a kids’ school. It has a very good site along the river, showing that the architects were using the forms of the terrain in combination with the building, how it breathed and looked on all sides. I understand that this is the second school building using this kind of language from these architects and I like the repetitive idea. I am just not sure about the facade material because it is a kind of composite so you don’t really know what it is, and it has a bit of a plastic feeling.
Our new school building stands out for its joyous and varied use of colours. The building is spacious and makes students feel at home. Another advantage is the fact that there are numerous different environments for classes apart from the traditional classrooms, for instance, the open area and wide corridors. All in all, I think that our people have got used to the school building really well.
Mattias Tammekänd, a student of Rapla State Secondary School
The main entrance is between the two building volumes creating the school’s private square bordered in equal measure by the old building and the extension: it leads to the new lobby and also to the formal staircase of the historic building. The steps create an outdoor auditorium in one of the corners of the square. The low extension with its convenient indoor solutions takes the existing building into consideration by retaining its views of the river. The old building was restored in its original form as much as possible. It is important to make the two buildings from different eras and with different looks work together as a whole and thus there are classrooms and teachers’ lounges in both buildings. Larger spaces in more extensive use are located in the extension as the layout of the existing building set considerable restrictions. The new building also accommodates rooms with more specific technical requirements such as the canteen, kitchen, great hall, library, auditorium and wardrobe.
The interior of the new extension was made as smooth as possible. The open spaces of the ground floor provide panoramic views of the surrounding landscape that is highly unique in the context of local schools. The open space also allows economical cross-usage. The furniture may be removed with a few simple moves, thus making almost the entire ground floor available for various events.