The Department of Art

Open international architectural design competition at Aalto University

05.04.2012

Aalto University Properties Ltd. in Finland is arranging a competition for designing Aalto University’s Otaniemi central campus and its main buildings.

The competition is arranged in two phases. Phase 1 of the competition takes place between 5 April and 10 August 2012. It focuses on producing a functional, overall plan of the central campus of the university. The competition jury will select approximately six entries for further development in Phase 2. Phase 2 competition task is to produce a more detailed design. The competition jury announces Phase 2 of the competition in early 2013. The competition is conducted following the rules of the Finnish Association of Architects.

The objective is to find new concepts and create a lively and interactive environment for research and learning activities wherein work, studies, leisure, and living are interwoven in a natural way and create the foundation for a university city of the future.

What is sought is a new functional model: the university’s and the whole Otaniemi science and research community’s ’mental core’, a dynamic centre which allows people to move freely in and out, stops and attracts them, awakens curiosity, and – most importantly - inspires to study. The campus shall communicate a dynamic approach and orientation towards future as well as incorporating novel technical and ecologically sustainable solutions.

The purpose of the competition is to find a high-quality urban landscape solution in which the new buildings in the urban structure engage in a dialogue with the existing buildings.

- We are looking for brave, visionary and ground-breaking ideas that will respect the principles of the university, its architecturally outstanding environment and the unique natural setting. We hope to see solutions that demonstrate both a pioneering spirit and a profound understanding of the functionality of the new premises, describes Tuula Teeri, President of Aalto University.
  
The Otaniemi campus is an internationally important campus area. Architecturally, the area is exceptionally harmonious. The buildings designed by Alvar Aalto, Reima Pietilä, and Heikki and Kaija Sirén give the area its characteristic individual appearance.

Metro traffic in the Helsinki Metropolitan area will be extended from Helsinki to Espoo by the end of 2015). The main entrance of the Otaniemi metro station will be situated in the competition area with connection to the new buildings.

The amount of floor area to be located in the competition area is between 48 000–52 000m2 (gross floor area). The principal user of the new facilities will be the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture.

Aalto University, Finland, began its operation as an independent, foundation-based university in 2010. The university was established on the initiative of its three founding universities (the Helsinki University of Technology, the University of Art and Design Helsinki, and the Helsinki School of Economics) with the objective of supporting the success and prosperity of the entire nation.

Aalto University consists of six schools: the School of Arts, Design and Architecture; the School of Economics; the School of Chemical Technology; the School of Engineering; the School of  Electrical Engineering and the School of Science.

The aim of Aalto University, the meeting point of science, art, technology, and business, is to become one of the world’s top universities by 2020.

Links:
Competition website campus2015.aalto.fi
Competition Programme

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