The growing main campus of Aalto University is in Otaniemi in Espoo, where, among others, four schools of technology and part of the School of Arts, Design and Architecture are located. The School of Business is in the Töölö district of Helsinki, and in the autumn of 2015 its bachelor-level students moved to Otaniemi. Most of the School of Arts, Design and Architecture is located in the Arabia district of Helsinki. Its operations will also move to Otaniemi in phases approximately at the end of 2017.
Otaniemi is growing – come and join us!
A goal, set by the Board of Aalto University, is to concentrate the operations of the university in Otaniemi, so that Aalto can develop as a multidisciplinary and creative university. For this reason Otaniemi will be developed considerably in the coming years, and not only for the needs of the university itself. The number of residential units and jobs in the area will grow by the thousands. Otaniemi will also get good public transport connections with the arrival of the metro and a light rail system. The metro will connect the area toward east and west and the Raide-Jokeri light rail will take passengers to the north and south.
The university, in collaboration with the City of Espoo, is developing a lively area centre in Otaniemi which functions around the clock. The aim is to establish significant new small business activities along with companies in the area, and to bring the corporate technology parks surrounding Otaniemi and the university campus closer together.
On the European scale Otaniemi is currently a significant area of close cooperation between a university and businesses. In the near future it will also develop into a real city – a place for mixed activities and user groups. The growth and metamorphosis of Otaniemi is based on extensive user orientation and the development of cooperation among those involved: the university, civil servants, politicians, and companies. The goal is a versatile interactive environment for research and art, as well as recreational services.
The university also supports these kinds of functional experiments, such as the creative shared use of areas and buildings. More shared meeting spaces are also needed for different kinds of people in the area. A campus vision set by personnel and president involves a mixture of a new kind of valuable history and planning. In the Otaniemi of the future, work, living, and services in the residential area link up in a unique way in the proximity of marine nature.
Bachelor teaching to Otaniemi
The new university campus is already taking shape. Bachelor-level teaching at Aalto University will be moving step-by-step to the main campus at Otaniemi. The building at Otakaari 1 is currently being set up as a centre where students of different fields of education can meet and learn together. The main library will become a learning centre, an environment for independent work and a showcase toward other areas of culture. Dipoli, the former building of the student union, will become the main building representing the university's open culture of action.
The centre of the Otaniemi campus is taking shape around the Aalto University metro station. The area will contain the main building of the School of Arts, Design and Architecture, and the university's showroom type shopping centre. A plan for these was sought in the international Campus 2015 architectural competition. Selected as its winner was a proposal by Verstas Architects called Väre, on whose basis the planning will move forward. Car traffic will be cut off at the metro station in favour of pedestrians and bicycles and public transport, as well as public space.
The goal of campus development at Aalto University is to serve as a growth platform for a globally significant inventive culture, sustainable development, and well-being. At the same time the most valuable characteristics of Otaniemi's cultural history and nature are still an important factor in the attraction of the area. The future of Otaniemi is more than just a local opportunity. It is a national and geopolitical mission to achieve a significant place and community from the point of view of the future of life.
Construction work on Väre is scheduled to begin in 2015 and the goal is for the building to be finished in 2017. The public space that passes through the building combines with the future metro station of Otaniemi, which will have the name Aalto University.
The core of the Otaniemi campus of Aalto University is a park campus more than 50 years old, whose urban plan was the work of Alvar Aalto and which contains individual buildings designed by him and other Finnish architects such as Reima and Raili Pietilä and Heikki and Kaija Sirén.
The campus area comprises four schools of technology (School of Chemical Technology, School of Electrical Engineering, School of Engineering, and School of Science) as well as the departments of Architecture, Media, and Art of the School of Arts, Design and Architecture. The area is the largest concentration of advanced technology in the Nordic Countries, combining education, research, and business activities in technology, business, and the arts.
The building at Otakaari 1 in Otaniemi has been recently renovated for the needs of the university's bachelor-level education.
The community includes 15 000 university-level students, as well as 16 000 professionals working in research organisations and businesses. The European Commission has twice chosen Otaniemi as one of the most innovative areas in Europe.
Head offices of some of Finland's largest businesses are located in the immediate vicinity of the area. Many of the companies have initially been born out of the activities of the university. Companies located in Keilaniemi include Kone, Neste Oil, Fortum, Microsoft and numerous smaller enterprises.
Also located in Otaniemi is the Teekkarikylä student village, which houses more than 2 000 students.
The Board of Aalto University decided in the summer of 2011 that the main campus of the university should be located in Otaniemi. The shared campus supports research and artistic activity that transcends boundaries by allowing for rich and brisk interaction. The campus is being developed and built in stages in an economically and ecologically sustainable manner.
More information in the news at aalto.fi:
- 1 Sep 2015 Alvar Aalto's signature building has been renovated
- 9 Jun 2015 Dipoli to be renovated and turned into unique main building of Aalto
- 10 Mar 2015 Otaniemi becoming a versatile urban area
- 13 Jun 2014 Innovative working environment being developed for the School of Arts, Design and Architecture
- 29 Sep 2013 Väre wins Campus 2015 architectural design competition
- 2 Apr 2012 Bachelor-level education being transferred to Otaniemi
Art in campus planning
Campus art with works representing modern forms of art is to be placed in Otaniemi. Serving as curator is Tuula Isohanni, Doctor of Arts, who has successfully carried out the art coordination of Arabianranta in Helsinki.
Valoaalto is an interactive concrete sculpture, which integrates light and heating. Landscape architecture students Annimaija Tarkkanen, Maija Gulin and Veera Tolvanen have made it in collaboration with the School of Engineering and the School of Electrical Engineering, the Concrete Industry Association, the Espoo City Planning Centre, the Alvar Aalto Academy and the National Board of Antiquities.
The art coordinator of Aalto University is a specialist expert in public and institutional art, who guides the university in art acquisitions and productions affecting the campus. This involves more than the art of the physical environment - it also concerns the construction and administration of the stories of the campus and its buildings as a facilitator and assistant as well as non-material forms of art.
Aalto University art coordination (artcoordination.aalto.fi)
The Aalto University School of Business operates in Töölö as part of the Helsinki Business Campus area. The area inclues also Hanken, the Swedish-language school of business. In addition, the location enables close collaboration with companies in the centre area.
The main building of the School of Business was completed in 1950 and it is part of the international Docomomo Register, making it a protected example of modern architecture.
The School of Arts, Design and Architecture is located in Arabia, in the area where Helsinki was first founded, in the former space of the Arabia ceramics factory.
The area is a rapidly developing concentration of creativity with a special focus on art, design, and technology. One to two percent of the building costs in the area are dedicated to art.
Alongside the School of Arts, Design and Architecture, the Arabia campus includes the Arcada and Metropolia Universities of Applied Science, the upper secondary level institutions Practikum and Helsinki Vocational College, and the Helsinki Pop & Jazz Conservatory.
A unit of the School of Business operates in Mikkeli, where it is possible to complete an English-language bachelor's degree (BScBA) in the International Business programme in an international environment. Mikkeli also has the Small Business Center of the School of Business. Both are part of the Mikkeli University Consortium, which is a network-type scientific community bringing together the academic knowledge and skills of units of four mother universities.
The Western Finland Design Centre (Muova) operates in Vaasa. It is a joint unit of the School of Arts, Design and Architecture and the University of Vaasa. Muova is a research and development centre offering design, research, and educational services. The centre launches and implements research and development projects connected with market-oriented design and creative skills and knowledge.
The Pori Urban Platform of Aalto University (PUPA) is a new model for operation in the Satakunta region in Pori. PUPA operates in the University Consortium of Pori in cooperation with four universities. Multidisciplinary cooperation offers excellent framework for interaction of arts and sciences.
The new building will be largely for the use of the School of Arts, Design and Architecture. Construction is planned to start in the area in 2015, and in 2017 the School of Arts, Design and Architecture will be able to move to Otaniemi from the current location in Arabia. A public space will pass through the new building which will connect it to the future metro station in Otaniemi. The coming station will be called Aalto University.