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Nexus selected as winner of Chemist’s Block architectural design competition

The winning entry for the Chemist's Block was created by Anttinen Oiva Architects.
View towards the Aalto University metro station, Student Community Centre in front. Illustration by Anttinen Oiva Architects.

The result of the architectural design competition for the development of Otaniemi's Chemist's block was announced today. The entry "Nexus" by the Finnish firm Anttinen Oiva Architects was selected as the winner.

The competition jury noted that the winning proposal is subtle and effective, and that it is a distinctive entity that imparts variety to Otaniemi's surroundings and supports the University’s diversification objectives.

The goal of the international competition was to create a comprehensive solution that is high-quality, lively, distinctive, and that suits the urban landscape – a place that lays the foundation for top-level research, housing and social interactions. The goal of the competition was to generate a new kind of compact and life-filled urban environment in the vicinity of the Otaniemi metro station.

Lobby of the Student Community Centre, with a view to the courtyard. Illustration by Anttinen Oiva Architects.

The block will include a new centre of excellence in bioeconomy, Bionova, partly in connection with existing buildings, as well as a new Student Community Centre for student organisations. In addition, the block will also include student housing and other apartments. The block is located in Otaniemi on the northern side of Vuorimiehentie and south of the upcoming metro station.

‘The winning proposal finely conveyed the spirit of Otaniemi with a modern twist. Otaniemi is becoming a more open and lively neighbourhood for students, working life, housing and leisure.  The area will also feature housing in connection with the area’s seaside and historic manor milieus,’ describes Aalto University Vice President Antti Ahlava, chair of the competition jury.

Vesa Oiva and Selina Anttinen of the winning team. Photo: Aalto University/Mikko Raskinen

Four design teams were invited to participate in the competition: Estudio Herreros from Madrid, Spain; Morphosis Architects from Santa Monica, USA; and Anttinen Oiva Architects and Architects Lahdelma & Mahlamäki from Helsinki. The winner of the competition will provide the general plan for the block and will also receive the task of designing one of the main buildings of the area.

Competition entries on show

All four competition entries are on show at the Aalto University Harald Herlin Learning Centre in Otaniemi, Otaniementie 9. Open for public until 11 May, Mon-Thu 8-20, Fri 8-18, Sat 10-15, Sun closed.

Winner:

“Nexus", Anttinen Oiva Architects/Architect SAFA Selina Anttinen, Architect SAFA Vesa Oiva and team.

Organisers:

Aalto University Properties Ltd and Senate Properties.

Competition jury members:

  • Antti Ahlava, Chair, Vice President, Aalto University, Professor, Architect SAFA
  • Taru Haimala, Facilities Manager, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
  • Olavi Hiekka, Division Director, Senate Properties  
  • Ossi Keränen, Director of  City Planning and Urban Design, City of Espoo
  • Tommi Lindh, Director, Alvar Aalto Foundation, Architect SAFA
  • Antti Tuomela, Managing Director, Aalto University Properties

The jury also included Professor and Architect SAFA Teemu Kurkela as the expert architectural consultant, Artist Professor and Architect SAFA Sari Nieminen as the competitors’ representative, and B.Sc. (Tech.) Pyry Haahtela as the student organisation representative. The assessment of the competition entries was carried out in close cooperation with experts from the relevant buildings, area use experts, and end-user representatives.  Architect SAFA Eija Larkas-Ipatti from Ramboll CM Oy acted as the competition process expert and secretary of the competition jury.

More information:

Aalto University
Vice President Antti Ahlava
[email protected], tel. +358 50 324 1179

Competition website (aaltocre.fi)

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