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Väre springs to life

New building for the School of Arts, Design and Architecture opening soon.
The atmosphere at Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture is festive as the first employees received their keys to the new building. Image: Aalto University/Mikko Raskinen

After a construction period of more than two years, the new home of all the School of Arts, Design and Architecture departments – Väre – will open its doors to the first staff members on 2 July 2018. For the first time since Aalto University was created in 2010, the School will be located on a single campus – and under a single roof.

Starting in autumn, Otaniemi will be even richer with artists, designers, filmmakers and architects working in close quarters in new spaces designed for collaborative learning and creative working.

According to Aalto University’s campus vision, Otaniemi will become an innovation hub. Designed with a user-oriented approach and according to the principles of sustainable development, Väre is the first new building created for the School since the Ateneum was built in 1887. Väre was designed by Verstas Architects, with Jussi Palva as the primary architect.

Home to art and encounters 

Väre will be more than a place for students and faculty to work, it will also house galleries for student and faculty artwork exhibitions as well as its permanent art exhibitions, commissioned in accordance with Finland’s One Percent for Art initiative. Aalto University is the first university to apply this principle in Finland. 

The Väre art concept, themed Global Equality, will be installed in September 2018. The public artworks will display versatile materials and techniques ranging from photographs, paintings, sculptures, textile arts, ceramics and drawings. 

A season of openings 

During the summer, staff and faculty can get their keys at the first floor information desk at Otaniementie 14. Students will begin learning and working at Väre on 20 August 2018, when fall semester lectures begin. At the same time, fifteen new Aalto workshops, including 3D printing, mechatronics, textile printing, a photography studio and wood workshop, will open on the ground floor. 

Additionally, the A Bloc shopping centre will open on 30 August 2018 in direct proximity to the Aalto University metro station. With its restaurants and cafés, not to mention the new Aalto Shop for branded goods, Aalto ARTS Books and student design work, A Bloc will become a natural meeting place on the Aalto University Campus and all of Otaniemi. 

The opening of Väre will be celebrated as part of the Aalto Day One event on 5 September by the entire Aalto community: faculty, staff, and students. Later in 2018, the new School of Business building will be completed. Together, the two new buildings will form a substantial part of Otaniemi’s new centre. 
 

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