creative landscape
helsinki, finland
type of commission
international competition
aalto university properties ltd.
11 ha
60’000 m2 of educational facilities including classrooms, studios, learning centre, media centre, exhibition areas, restaurants, cafes and commerce
project team
manuel der hagopian,grégoire du pasquier,nicolas moser,viet hung,nguyen ngoc quyen,le quang,paul rabecq
project date

In the heart of the Aalto University, with direct links to the Otaniemi metro station, the new campus centre constitutes the new entrance of the site and orchestrates an enhanced identity for the Aalto University.

Blending the existing natural landscape and a contemporary emblematic icon, the new campus doesn’t try to be the new image of the university but reinforces the existing landscape, quality and specificity, bringing a strong and attractive identity to the whole site. At territory scale it becomes an additional piece of landscape respectful of its natural environment. At site scale, it creates a new dynamic centre, an area of fusion for knowledge, creativity, exchange and innovation. Acting as a green link, it literally plays the role of connector. The building itself creates bridges and paths for movement from one side to the other, while the new main “A” square draws in students from all directions. It is the nucleus of the whole campus.

The new campus centre is seen as a piece of landscape; a public area ready to serve the different actors of the university whilst keeping the human scale of the campus. The building seems to disappear as it offers a new space to the students. Organized around the main square, the building is specifically shaped so as not to hinder the flow of the site. Open in every direction, the new building helps the visitor to find her way. With its large scale it acts as a gate, channelling the flow within. The relationship between the existing buildings and the new one is carefully considered creating smooth transition areas in between. Gardens offer a green breathing space linking the building.