Võru Järve School building

Status: International competition

Year: 2020

Client: Võru City Government

Place: Võru, Estonia

Size: 0.35 ha;  948 m2

Team: RUUME arhitekti


The proposal offers a unified simple volume building, that hosts all the necessary school functions under one roof. Two land plots Liiva 12a and Liiva 12b are unified to fit the spatial program in the most efficient way.

The structure of the new building is organised around the big school “living room”, where different collective activities take place – creativity and hand action classes, music, cooking activities and just gathering around for a break between lessons, by the same time providing spaces for staying alone if necessary. Accompanied by sliding walls, the “living room” can adjust to different occasions – a concert, a graduation party, life learning classes, physical training.

All the classrooms and rehabilitation center rooms used daily are located on the first floor, second floor host only administration, dormitories and technical room, the elevator is provided.

The “living room” is facing with a glazed facade the school entrance square, private school garden and an enclosed yard for physical activities and outdoor recreation. An outdoor roof is created along the facade to provide a welcoming space for safe outdoor activities.



Existing school vs new building – entrance/ school yard/ technical yard zones

School yard/ School garden/ Technical yard


Scale and context of Võru city UNESCO site

New building in context

Building is designed as a simple 1 storey volume with a one side pitted roof, following the spatial guidelines of Voru city center scale. The school south-west side, open to outdoor activity yard is one storey, providing human-friendly cosy space for pupils. North-east facade facing technical yard and parking is two storey. Liiva street facade shows the connection between these two scales, characteristic for Voru city.

Under one roof


Spaces for outdoor studies – under the roof, in the greenhouses and the park

The main idea for the outdoor spatial solution is to provide calming natural surroundings for pupils, as it is proven to awaken creativity and mental stability. The outdoor zones are designed for different ages and includes sports yard with small basket and football courts, paved zone in front of the “living room” for collective school events, a terrace under the roof for outdoor studying and the spacious garden zone with auxiliary room and greenhouses, where planting classes, pic-nic, relaxation takes place. A meditative natural environment is a place to experience different tactile feelings, to hear birds singing, to feel aroma of trees blossoming. Simple materials as wood, stone, sand, grass, vivid vegetation, water elements are used in landscape design to achieve this goal.

Resilient building

Ground floor plan

First floor plan