Blueberry-Vanilla02squareNext up on the What’s going on ARTS things is the new campus. In the event the person talking about these was Tapio Koskinen, who represents our school in the poject of new ARTS building.

In case you are interested in the future of our school and especially the things related to the new campus, you should also visit the Spatial Cafés organized by Tapio Koskinen. The cafés are held in Café Meccala cabinet and ones will be on April 29th at 4pm and on May 14th at 3pm. The idea of Spatial Cafés is that the students and staff can go and get some free coffee while asking questions and discussing about the new campus. I heard the current plans for the new building will be exposed in the Spatial Café, so go and see!

But back to business! Here’s what was said about the new campus – I tried to wrap it up as logically as possible. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me, I’ll try to answer or find someone who can!

Yours truly,
your chairperson Lurppa Haggren

– The main campus of Aalto University is Otaniemi, and also ARTS will be moving there when our new premises are ready

– There was an architectural competition Campus2015  of the new ARTSbuilding, the winner was announced in September 2013. The winning proposal was called Väre, and the Verstas Architects who designed it have been working with the project since then.

– In the beginning people were really positive about actually being able to move in 2015, but now it seems that the earliest realistic time is in the beginning of 2017, hopefully at latest in the summer of 2017.

– At the moment there are ARTS premises in Arabia and Otaniemi campuses. Most of the departments are still in Arabia, but the Department of Architecture and part of the Department of Media are in Otaniemi.


An architectural competition called Campus2015 was held about the new building of Aalto ARTS (the webpage here). In the beginning of the competition it was thought that we really could move to Otaniemi in 2015. But the competition took longer than was planned and the winner was announced in September 2013. The winning proposal was called Väre and you can go view it in the Café Meccala Cabinet in Arabia Campus. Since September the Verstas Architects who planned Väre have been working on to make the plans of the new building more concrete, and the work is still going on.

In last September it was also decided that the new building will be built in two parts. First they’re going to build the premises the ARTS needs, and in the second phase the premises that other Aalto schools will use, too. So the building will first be smaller than the competition was about.

Besides the new building there will also be ARTS premises in some of the building around it. You can find the map of Otaniemi Campus from here, you can check the following locations from there.

To the so called A wing, that used to be the building of the Department of Architecture (Metallimiehentie 1 X) will be located the class rooms of first and second year bachelor students (there’s not enough room for the third year students). Of course they’ll also have courses oin the ARTS building, but their “homebase” will be the A wing.

The class rooms for sculpture and graphic art will be located in the building where the workshops of architects already are (Metallimiehentie 4). The library of the campus (Otaniementie 9) will be renovated and in the future also the library collections of ARTS and the Department of Architects can be found there. The library will serve also as so called learning center of the whole school (you’ll find more information about that project from here. Also Media Center Lume will have new premises in Otaniemi Campus, probably in so called “Puumiehen kortteli” block (on the northern side of Otaniementie, around Puumiehenkuja)..

All other premises of our school will be in the new building (you’ll find the place Korkeakoulunaukio from the map, that’s about where the ARTS building will be).

The timetable

The complete timetable for the project is still a bit open, which is expected in a project of this size. At the moment it is certain that by the end of April the plans are detailed enough to calculate the budget needed for the building. The calculations are done during May and in June the Aalto University Board will do the decision of the investment. In case the project seems too pricey, the board might demand some changes in the plans – which would, of course, mean that the whole process will take even longer. Fortunately it seems that the budget will stay within the given limits.

Currently also the town plan of Otaniemi campus is re-designed and the Verstas Architects are working on this project, also. The realistic estimate is that by November 2014 the new town plan will be ready. After that the school can apply for construction permit from the city of Espoo. In case everything goes well, the building process will start in the beginning of 2015.This big building will take about two years to complete, but nobody has yet been able to make concrete timetable for the construction.

What we know now is that we are prepaired to stay in Arabia till the end of 2016. But if it looks like we can’t move after that, we are going to neuvotella a little bit longer lease on this Arabia campus. So the earliest realistic move will be in the beginning of 2017, latest probably during the summer 2017. Länsimetro will start taking passengers somewhere towards the end of 2016.

At first the idea was that whole ARTS would move to Otaniemi at the same time (except the Department of Architecture that has been there from the start) but because of for example the indoor air problems the plans changed. In January 2014 part of the Department of Media moved to the same building with the architect students (Miestentie 3). So at the moment ARTS is located to two campuses, but most of our premises are still in Arabia.

New premises

Probably anyone studying in Arabia campus has noticed that there are rooms that are empty half of the time. In the future the goal is to use the premises as effectively as possible. Our premises in Otaniemi will be 35% smaller than what ARTS had in the summer 2013.

It does sound a lot, but in reality the change isn’t so radical. In the Arabia campus there are already several rooms the school doesn’t pay rent for, all together over 1000 square meters. Some of those spaces school doesn’t use anymore because of indoor air problems, some just because school doesn’t need those. Still some of the premises we have aren’t used that often and for example in the corridors there are more than enough useless squares. In the new building the division between the premises of different departments aren’t as clear as they are in the current campus. This means some changes in the working culture of ARTS, too and there are also some development projects related to that going on. (We didn’t go further into what kind of pojects these are)

We also discussed on what kind of spaces there will be for students to use. It seems like there will be plenty of places that students can freely use – for example after the restaurants have closed the dining area will serve as a free working space.

But it turned out that in the plans there was only one place for student associations – one room, size of 40 square meters should serve all the student associations in Aalto ARTS? The people in the discussion event agreed that the mentioned space alone can’t support all the activity of the ARTS associations.

There probably isn’t room enough to give each association a space of their own, but we’re trying to think of different options now. We decided that during this spring the board members of TOKYO and The Guild of Architecture will meet Tapio Koskinen regularly – to keep up with this thing and with the whole campus project. Also the board members of the study associations have been invited, and in case you would like to join, too, do send a message to me (puheenjohtaja@tokyo.fi) or Iiro, the TOKYO board member responsible of the campus things (iiro.immonen@aalto.fi).

Also Kipsari will have new premises in the Otaniemi campus, but the place isn’t certain yet. There is a spot marked for Kipsari next to the workshops of ARTS building, but it’s a lot smaller than the current space. At the moment Kipsari board and Tapio Koskinen are trying to figure out the best possible solution to keep Kipsari alive when moving to the new campus.

In the Arabia campus our shcool supports Kipsari for example with it’s premises and we are hoping the restaurant gets the same kind of support also in Otaniemi. If Kipsari has to compete on the free market, it won’t have the resources to offer as good, ethic and ecologic food as to its customers as it currently does. The TOKYO and Kipsari boards are doing their best to make sure that the students and staff of Aalto will get the high-quality vegetable and vegan option in Otaniemi, too. In addition to the delicious food, Kipsari also plays an important role when it comes to continuity of the traditions of the old TaiK.

The campus project

Because the whole project seemed quite unclear to everyone in the event, we also discussed briefly about the different groups working on it. When the competition was still going on, most of the materials were kept secret because of the competition rules. At the current phase of the project there are no such rules, but  because a lot of changes are still done to the plans, those haven’t been exposed publicly. But now it’s possible to go see them in the Spatial Cafés that were mentioned in the beginning of this text.

The concrete work on planning the new building is made by Verstas Architects, and they work for Aalto University Properties Ltd. The progress is presented in their meetings, where also the designers working on other projects are present. In those meetings these different projects are coordinated together. Inside ARTS the progress is reported to the Spatial Workgroup of our school (both TOKYO and the Guild of Architecture have a representative there, but the work group hasn’t had any meetings this year…) and to the Management Team of our school (also the chair persons of TOKYO and the Guild of Architecture are members of it).

Workspace Oy, a Finnish consult firm, is hired to plan the office and studio working spaces of the new school. During last autumn Workspace Oy also held few workshops concerning this and also created a web survey about the new studying spaces and the Otaniemi campus. The need for different workshop spaces in ARTS was studied in an earlier project. We also went through a more detailed list of older projects related to the new campus, but I couldn’t find that list anywhere. Which, on the other hand, tells something of how well all these projects reach the students…

In the next autumn they will already start planning the locations of different schooling programs in the new building. To make sure that the all needs of the students from different programs will reach the ones working on the project, TOKYOs board will do a survey about this before the end of spring – just wait for it!