Towards a communal and sustainable campus with the design guidelines for outdoor areas

The design guidelines for the outdoor areas of the Otaniemi campus has been published. Its purpose is to provide guidelines for the development of outdoor environments that support the university's functions and the wellbeing of nature and people. In addition, the goal of the instruction is to strengthen the recognizable identity of the campus and to maintain the quality level of the outdoor areas.
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Photo: Aapo Pihkala / ACRE

The design guidelines for the outdoor areas of the Otaniemi campus area have been published in the fall of 2023. According to the guidelines, comfort, multi-use and accessibility are emphasized in the design of the outdoor areas, while at the same time respecting the area's rich history and natural diversity. The planning guide also comprehensively opens up the history of the area, which helps to understand today's choices and lay the groundwork for future plans.

The guidelines have taken into account the needs of the Aalto community, the views of stakeholders, and the region's cultural-historical and natural values. The data collection has been based, among other things, on feedback from the Leesman campus survey received from the community, discussions with stakeholders, and research on the area's nature and cultural history.

Attractive and sustainable surrounding nature

We want to keep the outdoor areas of the campus as an attraction factor of the campus in the future. The Otaniemi area is a very green and nature-friendly university campus, even by international standards. On the other hand, as the campus changes, the use of outdoor spaces becomes more diverse and they must enable the smoothness of everyday life and events. Connection needs change and increase, and the utilization rate increases as new functions are built.

"The identity of the outer areas of the campus consists of the sum of its different parts. Otaniemi as a whole is a combination of nature, architecture and historical strata, from Alvar Aalto's legacy to the area's manor and ancient history. Every path, bench and planting tells a story about the campus's history and is part of the fabric of its future. We want a strong identity cherish, hand in hand with the good functionality of the outdoor areas," says Project Manager Aapo Pihkala from ACRE, who is responsible for the design guidelines report.

You can find the Otaniemi campus design guidelines and background related to the guidelines at this link.

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