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Aalto University Töölö’s art competition seeks radical creativity

Aalto University published an invited art competition that seeks to find public art to be situated in two spaces in Aalto Töölö
Aalto Töölö's yellow facade behind the construction site fences
Aalto Töölö's facade autumn 2019. Image: Mikko Raskinen / Aalto University

The invited art competition seeks to find exceptional and feasible proposals for permanent artworks to be situated in two spaces in Aalto University Töölö in Helsinki. Successful proposals will follow the visions of public art at Aalto University. The competitors may suggest art works to either to one or to two spaces, which are the main entrance hall and staircase space. 

Five artists invited to join the competition are either alumni of Aalto University or have thought at the university: Sakari Kannosto, Jukka Lehtinen, Sanna Majander, Tiia Matikainen and Charles Sandison.

Selection will be made by the jury, who can choose one or two artists as the winner of the competition. University's Vice President for Research Ossi Naukkarinen, Aalto University Board Vice Chair and Director General at Nationalmuseum, Sweden, Susanna Pettersson, independent art critic, gallerist and curator Veikko Halmetoja and CEO of Aalto University Executive Education and Professor of Practice Pekka Mattila form the jury for the competition. Aalto University's Art Coordinator Outi Turpeinen will coordinate the selection process. 

Aalto Töölö main lobby as a construction site, three people standing in the middle while another person works in the corner
One of the artworks will be situated in the main lobby of Aalto Töölö. Image: Mikko Raskinen / Aalto University

Historical building renewed 

The activities of Aalto University School of Business relocated from Töölö to Otaniemi in February 2019, and the same time the former main building of the school was renamed Aalto University Töölö. Future Töölö is a vibrant meeting place for Aalto University and business life in the future. The main tenant at Aalto Töölö is Aalto University Executive Education, which offers thought provoking executive education and development services globally to individuals and organisations. 

Aalto Töölö represents a functionalist style. The design of the premises of the building, completed in 1950, was carried out by architects Woldemar Baeckman and Hugo Harmia. The building is part of the Docomomo International Register, a site for modern architecture. The renovation began in May 2019 and is estimated to be completed by the end of 2020.  

“Radical Creativity” art concept for Aalto Töölö 

Public art at Aalto Töölö seeks for contrast with the historical building and its visually impressive interior. Art works should be reacting to space and giving proposals for the future. Main entrance lobby and staircase are both defined by entering and leaving. The specific theme will be defined by the artists proposals. 

Empty staircase in Aalto Töölö, wood paneling is protecting the floors during renovation
The other piece will be situated at one of the staircase of building. Image: Mikko Raskinen / Aalto University

Campus art competition for the Aalto community

In the spring of 2020, a campus art competition open to anyone studying or working at Aalto University will be launched.

The competition seeks ideas for a art to be located at Alvarinaukio square. The start of the competition will be announced separately.

The vision of public art at Aalto University  

In 2017, Aalto University decided to comply with a one per cent art principle in its building projects. The art percent is a funding model for art purchases, where approximately one per cent of a building project's funds are allocated to art purchases. The one per cent art principle was first applied to Radical Nature art concept in Aalto University’s main building Dipoli.  

The vision of public art at Aalto University is to address and raise questions about what it is to be a university, what we do together in society, and what constitutes the public. Public art is site-specific and connects with the diversity of the university and its post-disciplinary communities. Public artworks reflect this diversity through different art forms, materials, techniques and traditions. 

More information 
Outi Turpeinen  
Aalto University, Art Coordinator 
[email protected] 

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