Aalto University Campus

Revisiting the principles of the Garden City and Alvar Aalto’s design philosophy, the new school knits itself within Otaniemi to enrich the existing dynamics of the area with a wealth of opportunities for social interactions. The keystone of this ap- proach is the Mesh, a three dimensional structure that play- fully articulates the social and teaching spaces, blurring boundaries between the interior and exterior, between viewing and making, between knowledge and action.

This Mesh extends between the different buildings on site, to unify existing and new faculties and weave together the sur- rounding public spaces with multi level circulations. Guidingusers into the site and through its entrance atriums, the Mesh hosts a spectrum of meeting points of various scales that mul- tiply the points of interaction with the action zones of the cam- pus and the new vibrant square that it frames.

The new central square wraps around Aalto’s Main Building and Library, placing these iconic building at the heart of the campus. Its auditorium is strengthened as the main visual navigation landmark of the site: the new buildings laid out on the site to ensure that it remains visible from all approaches to the square. The site layout is clearly readable from the central square to allow easy visual navigation for visitors and campus users. The subtle interplay of hard and soft landscaping along the pedestrian and cycle axes on the square offer multiple highly accessible routes to the common facilities surrounding it. To the west, the central square merges into the experimen- tal courtyard, a large sheltered space located at the inflexion point of the Mesh. This transient spaces overflow with the activities of creative studios and workshops of the Design, Art and Architecture faculties, overlapping onto it to bring together the different disciplines of the school and foster collaboration and interaction.

Client:Aalto University
Location:Otaniemi, Finland
Size:55 000 m2
Team: Birgitte J. Haug, Ibrahim Elhayawan, Isabell Adamofski, Magda Procházková
Partners: 2hD Architects, Ramboll UK