Architect
Verstas Architects
Competition
2013
Completion
2018
Gross area
45400 m²
Themes
Finnish Architecture. Biennial Review 2020 Finlandia Prize for Architecture 2020
Category
Educational buildings
Tags
brick campus competition education glass open building steel university
Prizes
Finnish Architecture. Biennial Review 2020
Finlandia Prize for Architecture 2020 finalist
More

Verstas Architects website

A new campus complex has been completed at Aalto University. Comprising the School of Arts, Design and Architecture’s new building, titled Väre, the School of Business building, and the A Bloc shopping centre, the development is based on a winning design from 2013 by Verstas Architects.

Along with the Aalto Library and the historic Helsinki University of Technology main building, it creates the first genuinely urban square within the heart of the campus, still defined by Alvar Aalto’s iconic architecture. With a spatial composition characterised by its rich materiality and a form that is articulated as a series of “buildings within buildings”, this large structure settles effortlessly into its wider context. The design team’s dynamic approach to massing takes its cue from the surrounding buildings, creating a village-like feel. The use of brick and glass for the facade resonates with the distinctive and restrained choice of materials that already marks the Otaniemi aesthetic.

Internally, the diverse spaces located at the intersections between the building masses facilitate social and other encounters and lend themselves to a range of multi-disciplinary uses. The distinct identities that set apart the university’s different schools are also apparent in the interiors and the materials employed here. The materials and geometries found at the School of Business accurately reflect the occupant’s wider brand image, while at Väre, the school’s enduring commitment to excellence in craftsmanship is apparent in the basement and ground floor workshops, their glass walls offering unimpeded views of the passageways that cut across the building. Väre represents the architecture of possibilities; a flexible, versatile space that allows for adaptation and change.

Location

Otaniementie 14, Espoo
60.1851706, 24.8236405

Images

Aerial view from the east, Aalto University Väre Building
Aerial view from the east, Aalto University Väre Building (© Pyry Kantonen)
Main entrance, Aalto University Väre Building
Main entrance, Aalto University Väre Building (© Mika Huisman)
The university's old main building by Alvar Aalto in the background
, Aalto University Väre Building
The university's old main building by Alvar Aalto in the background , Aalto University Väre Building (© Andreas Meichsner)
Square in front of the main entrance, Aalto University Väre Building
Square in front of the main entrance, Aalto University Väre Building (© Andreas Meichsner)
Main entrance, Aalto University Väre Building
Main entrance, Aalto University Väre Building (© Tuomas Uusheimo)
Main staircase, Aalto University Väre Building
Main staircase, Aalto University Väre Building (© Andreas Meichsner)
Lecture hall, Aalto University Väre Building
Lecture hall, Aalto University Väre Building (© Andreas Meichsner)
Learning spaces, Aalto University Väre Building
Learning spaces, Aalto University Väre Building (© Andreas Meichsner)
Learning spaces formed around an atrium, Aalto University Väre Building
Learning spaces formed around an atrium, Aalto University Väre Building (© Andreas Meichsner)
Learning space, Aalto University Väre Building
Learning space, Aalto University Väre Building (© Andreas Meichsner)
Site plan, Aalto University Väre Building
Site plan, Aalto University Väre Building (© Verstas Architects)
Section, Aalto University Väre Building
Section, Aalto University Väre Building (© Verstas Architects)
1st floor, Aalto University Väre Building
1st floor, Aalto University Väre Building (© Verstas Architects)

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