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Resplendent Dipoli emerging from renovation

A thorough renovation of the tradition-rich Dipoli building is nearing completion.
Photo: Kalle Kataila.

The scaffolding has now been up for almost two years while the façade, interior surfaces, building services and layout solutions have all undergone a complete revamp. The interior design and furniture will be installed this spring and the new Dipoli will host the launch of the academic year in September.

Dipoli will serve as Aalto University's main building from autumn 2017 onwards. As a building, it represents a new type of multi-purpose design that showcases the University's expertise, activities and people. The facilities will be in shared use and open, and they will also serve as a test platform for new ways of working and learning.

Dipoli will offer the entire Aalto community and its stakeholders meeting places and work spaces as well as event and exhibition facilities. The building will also house several cafeterias and restaurants that will be open to all.

The concept for Dipoli was created at joint workshops involving University representatives and partners employing the methods of service design. Students contributed their own ideas and perspectives to the design process.

The renovation is on schedule and it honours the original design of architects Reima and Raili Pietilä. Completed in 1966, the distinctive and radical Dipoli was the first joint design produced by the Pietiläs. The layout was dynamic and its form language mimicked natural shapes. The building was part of the new Otaniemi campus, which already included a landmark structure designed by Alvar Aalto that now serves as Aalto University's Undergraduate Centre.

For quite some time, Dipoli functioned as an oasis of cultural activity for technology students. It was the venue for choirs, cinema clubs and art exhibitions, for example. The building also hosted many conferences, training events and galas in 1981–2015.

Architectural design: ALA Architects
Interior design: Tuuli Sotamaa
Main contractor: NCC

This article is published in the Aalto University Magazine issue 19 (issuu.com), April 2017.

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