Beautiful Art Nouveau-school converted into a cozy home
The Jugend Quarter on the east side of Palokunnankatu is relatively uniformly built at the beginning of the 20th century. Several houses have jugend features. In the block there is a town plan drawn up by Birger Brunila in 1930. The architecturally and historically most valuable building in the block is a house constructed at the beginning of the century for a Swedish-built school. The school moved to the house in 1915 and was closed in 1931. Service man, Kari Kallela, bought the school building from his grandparents Katri and Matti Kallela two years ago. He renovated the house with his father, Hannu Kallela, to meet the demands of modern times.
A Good and Spacious log home
Kari Kallela decided to thoroughly renovate the house before he moved in. The first stage was demolition of the old property. - There were many cubic metres of moss and sawdust insulation. There were sandboxes around the chimneys to ensure fire safety. About two hundred cubic metres of waste were transported to a landfill.
The house is built on sandy ground and has remained in good condition. The original metal sheet roof is intact, rustproof and did not need anything doing to it. - The log frame structure was in excellent condition. The ceilings had fallen and bowed and the floors were cold, so they had to be removed and new ones had to be constructed. At the same time, the whole interior of the house was completely renovated from floor to ceiling with the exception of the log frames. The outer cladding was replaced. Additionaly ecowool was used for insulation. Plastic has not been used anywhere so that the house can breathe.
The living room which is old the school classroom, is bright and spacious, with an area of 50 square metres. There was a chalkboard hanging on the wall of the yard side. In Its place are now two windows. The house has a total of 28 windows. - Window cleaning is a couple of days project. The previous owner had divided the old classroom with a split partition. Kallela tore it down because he wanted a spacious living room. - A new wall can be built if it feels like it is needed in the future, Kari comments.
The old beautiful tiled stoves preserved. They removed the electric heating installed by the previous occupant so that the original stoves could be used. Kallela did not demolish the stoves even though they did not need to heat them because the house was connected to the district heating network. "The stoves work in the house mainly to give pleasant atmosphere," explained Kari. In all rooms, except for the concrete floor in the laundry and sauna areas, there is under floor heating. The house could be heated by the external heat pump, and it should not be used for anything other than cooling.
The original mirror doors were left in place after renovation. Household dust is cleaned away with a central vacuum cleaner system. The house was connected to the cable TV network when the street had to be excavated to install the district heating pipe.
Old and new side by side
Nowadays, the entrance to the house is on the garden side in the 1980s constructed extension, which now includes a fully renovated sauna, washing and toilet facilities. The former boys toilet was dismantled and the foyer is now more spacious. Rebuilding the premises by designing a house floor plan made it more practical.
The kitchen has a functional wood stove, but it is seldom used. The thick log walls were left visible in the dining room. On the wall, a 19th century clock was inherited from the grandparents. A handsome cabinet was found from the Godmother's property. - It was going to landfill when It was rescued from there by Kari. Th older objects help give an atmosphere. On the street side, the old school steps, are no longer used except for going to get the post. On the wall, a school coat rack and two buckets that were used in the event of a fire remain on the wall.
The upstairs which has a space of about 70 to 80 square meters is for the time being unusedt. - It's possible to build a couple of rooms if required and it is being considered to build a bachelor pad, the heating pipes have been installed, so heating is possible. Currently there is sufficient space downstairs.
In Raahe, General School education started in 1872. It was divided into two departments. One was taught in Finnish, the other in Swedish. When the national teaching language was changed to Finnish, they founded their own Swedish-language school in 1880. In 1903, Svenska Småbarnsskolan i Brahestad was founded. The initial education was shared with the Frieman House, where now the Raahe's Labour Service Center is located. So at the corner of Pekkatori. In 1915, the school got its own office at Palokunnakatu 24.
Owned by Kastell and Kallelat The activity of the school faded and ended in the 1930's. The house was bought by Samppa Kastell. Even then, the yard was quite large, as the yard buildings were smaller than the present ones. Even the grain was grown in the yard. Matti and Katri Kallela bought this house in the 1960s when their land Tokolanperä was under Rautaruukki. "There was a stables on that yard where grandfather liked the horse," Kallela says. At that time, horses and cows were a common sight in Raahe Street. "Yes, this is where we can live now," says Kari Kallela with satisfaction after a hard job.
Raahe born Alma Andersson, "Tant Alma" (12.1.1866 - 10.7.1932), served as the head of the school for decades. Alma had studied in Stockholm and graduated from Tammisaari's Swedish Teacher Seminar in Ekenäs. In addition to her, some elementary teachers had been hired. In the mornings the students gathered in front of the stairs to the double row and from there Alma let the children in: "There you are, oh, Tröskeln, trampa ej on Tröskeln." Yea, one, two, over the threshold, do not step on the door. The school day started with a morning prayer during which everyone had to keep their eyes closed.
All three classes of the school were held in the same room. Children were not even allowed to speak Finnish in their break at all. When they played "the last pair out of the oven", "sista paret ut"..
Kari Kallela's his grandmother (Miss Katri Hannila) had been to this school even though she was not from a Swedish-speaking family. Consequently grandma spoke Swedish very well!
Owned by Kastell and Kallelat
The activity of the school faded and ended completely in the 1930's. The house was bought by Samppa Kastell. At that time, the yard was still quite large, because the yard buildings were smaller than the present ones. Even grain was grown in the yard.
Matti and Katri Kallela bought this house in the 1960s when their land Tokolanperä was left under the Rautaruukki. "There was a stable in that yard where grandfather kept his horse," Kallela says. At that time, horses and cows were a common sight in the streets of Raahe. "Yes, this is where we can live now," , Kari Kallela explained after a long and satisfying project.