Soiva, meaning resonant or musical, is a building for making music. It houses two music schools teaching rhythmic and classical music. The institutions provide a playschool for children and education for amateurs and professional students ranging from instrumental and vocal music to music technology and production.
In collaboration with the users, Tommila Architects organised the building to cater for visiting audiences and various regular users. All spaces across five storeys are integrated via a central atrium. Lounges and rehearsal rooms bridge over it, creating a multifaceted common space, through which natural light flows. The arrangement encourages casual meetings and a sense of communality between the schools.
The learning spaces are arranged around the building’s perimeter, enjoying ample daylight with vistas to the horizon. Sound- proofing is adjusted so that the building is noiseless but not silent; one can just about hear through doors. This creates the all- important serenity for studying music.
Cavernous studios in the basement are innovatively designed. Several monitoring and editing rooms cluster around recording spaces so that they can be used simultaneously in various combinations, which is ground breaking in pedagogy. Concerts in the performance halls above can be also recorded here.
The facades and interiors allude to music genres: the black of rock’n’roll and the brass of classical instruments. The rhythm of the window openings in the black brickwork echo musical notation, making each room unique. One performance hall opens to the street through an enormous window, making music present in the urban fabric.
Soiva is an annex to the historic ceramic factory Arabia, once the largest producer in Europe and internationally known for its designs. Manufacturing has ceased, but design and culture prevail. Soiva connects to a campus of creative studies within the refurbished factory and shares its facilities. Tommila Architects has designed the entire campus.