Trade School for War Veterans

thumb image
Photo: Simo Rista / MFA
  • PlaceLiperi
  • Completion 1949
  • Decade1940s
  • PeriodThe post-war reconstruction era
  • Year of selection1993


The design brief for the Trade School for War Veterans was at the time quite new and exceptional. The school was to help rehabilitate young men infected with tuberculosis during the war to make them ready for working life. In addition to the necessary medical treatment facilities, the buildings also had to include vocational training classrooms. The Liperi rehabilitation facility was placed, like tuberculosis sanatoriums, in a ridge landscape dominated by pine trees. The complex comprised of several buildings completely differed from the multi-storey sanatoriums built before the war which had hundreds of patient beds and facilities only related to medical care.

In addition to the physical rehabilitation of the patients, Revell’s objective in Liperi was to create an environment that promoted mental healing and which avoided any institutional feel. He scattered the narrow-framed multipartite buildings with a respect for the landscape. The complex included two main buildings: the production and administration building, and the restaurant and hospital building. In addition to these, Revell also designed dormitories for patients and staff, as well as separate sauna buildings by the shoreline of the lake Huttulampi. The main buildings are low and homely. They each have a hipped roof with deep eaves that protect the outdoor terraces and passageways. The eaves are supported by schist-clad pillars and wooden beams.

The structural solutions were affected by the shortage of building materials and labour at the time of construction. The use of reinforced concrete had to be kept to a minimum, which is why mostly brick and wood as well as schist stone were used as building materials. The facades were rendered such that the brick jointing was still visible. The balanced relationship between the building and nature together with the organic materials define the building as a representative example of the architecture of the 1940s. In its form language it is closely related to Aarne Ervi’s Oulujoki powerplant workers’ residences and the KOP Bank holiday village in Otaniemi. Liperi has also been compared to the private houses designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Between 1960 and 1990 the areas on the west and south sides of the old building group were infilled with new buildings. The concrete-tile roofs and facade render were renovated in the 1980s. The residential building was renovated in the 1990s and the training and workshop building in the early 2000s. The buildings operated until the 2000s as a vocational special educational institution.


Elina Standertskjöld

Didrichsen, Maria (toim./ed.) (2010). Viljo Revell – ”It is teamwork, you see”. Helsinki: Didrichsenin taidemuseo.
Rewell, Viljo (1949). ”Sotainvaliidien veljesliiton ammattioppilaitos”. Arkkitehti 9–10/1949.
Standertskjöld, Elina (2008). Arkkitehtuurimme vuosikymmenet 1930–1950. Helsinki: Rakennustietosäätiö, Rakennustieto Oy, Suomen rakennustaiteen museo.


Projects by same architect