Aalto University Väre Building

The large new building is carefully adapted to the scale of the Otaniemi campus that is world-famous for mid-20th century functionalist architecture. The iconic old main building designed by Alvar and Elissa Aalto, today the Undergraduate Centre, remains the landmark of the campus.
Väre forms a new, central square with the old main buildings at the core of the campus.
The new square is the focal point of Aalto Campus. It brings together new and old university builsings, the entrance to an underground station and retail spaces.
The organizing principle for the new premises is a structural matrix based on two principal coordinates of Alvar Aalto's main building and library.
The main lobby extends through the building and connects different levels.
Wood highlights the central spatial sequence.*
The main lobby descends from the new square to the park.
Adaptable and flexible learning spaces are arranged around sky-lit atriums. Workshops are on the ground floor, meeting areas and project spaces above.
Sculptural, patinated steel stairs cross the atriums as a contrast to the neutral colours of the study areas.
The glass walls of the workshops reveal the creative activity in the building.
The workshops for different design disciplines are all located on the ground floor, and are visible to the park or the public lobby.
Clad in sturdy red brick and light printed glass, the building complements Alvar Aalto's original Otaniemi campus.*
The varying heights of building volumes create an impression of a compact cluster of small buildings.

Aalto University Väre Building

Share:

    Description:

    The new Aalto University Väre Building is the focal point of Aalto Campus in Otaniemi. The campus was planned originally for Helsinki University of Technology by architect Alvar Aalto and is internationally known for the 20th century functionalist architecture. Together with the most prominent buildings by Aalto, Väre building forms a new square at the very core of the campus and combines university premises an underground station and retail spaces. Väre is the home for The School of Arts, Design and Architecture, and a part of a new complex that includes The School of Business, A Bloc shopping centre and outdoor spaces, all designed by Verstas.

    The organizing principle for the new premises is a structural matrix formed of the two principal coordinates of Alvar Aalto’s main building and library. The varying heights of building volumes create an impression of a compact cluster of small buildings. Clad in red brick and printed glass, the new building complements Alvar Aalto’s original Otaniemi campus.

    The public main lobby, the shopping centre and underground station open towards the plaza, the key new social space that enlivens the campus. The main lobby extends through the building and connects the different levels. Learning facilities are nested in two clusters, each arranged around an atrium, producing a wide variety of flexible spatial combinations. Spaces in Väre are arranged more according to the type of use rather than the discipline. Different kinds of workshops are all on the ground floor, with views to the park. Lively meeting areas and interdisciplinary project spaces are on the second level and spaces for concentrated study and research are on the upper floors.

    Related projects:
    Otaniemi central campus
    Aalto University School of Business
    Otaniemi shopping centre

    Status:

    Open competition, 1st prize, 2013. Completed 2018.

    Awards

    World Architecture Festival,
    Shortlisted, 2019

    The International Architecture Award
    Awarded project, 2019

    European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award
    Nominee, 2019

    Hurraa! Award – recognition from the City of Espoo
    2019

    Program:

    Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture,
    26800m2

    Location:

    Otaniementie 14, Otaniemi, Espoo, Finland

    Client:

    ACRE Aalto University Campus & Real Estate

    Photographs:

    Andreas Meichsner and Tuomas Uusheimo (marked with *)

    Lamminrahka Education Centre by Verstas Architects

    The Lamminrahka Education Centre will be the landmark building of a new neighbourhood in the Tampere region.

    Lamminrahka Education Centre
    Read
    Office refurbishment by Verstas Architects

    Verstas Architects’ office refurbished to a 1970s storage building by the sea.

    Verstas office
    Read
    Helsinki Biennal Pavilion by Verstas Architects

    A movable ferry terminal for the Helsinki Biennial.

    Helsinki Biennial Pavilion
    Read
    Kari Campus education, sports and leisure centre in Rauma by Verstas Architects

    A multipurpose building that creates synergy between sports and schools.

    Kari Campus education, sports and leisure centre
    Read
    Exterior view of the Vuosaari high school by Verstas Architects

    A music high-school built on a compact multi-level site.

    Vuosaari High School
    Read
    A visualization of the Espoo Culture Centre (Espoon kulttuurikeskus) extension and the Culture Square (Kulttuuriaukio)designed by Verstas Architects

    Submerged performance halls in an iconic garden city.

    Espoo Cultural Centre
    Read
    Helsinki City Hall lobby refurbishment by Verstas Architects and KOKO3

    Converting the lobby of the Helsinki City Hall into a public work space.

    Helsinki City Hall lobby
    Read
    A lobby and stairs in the Aalto University School of Business designed by Verstas Architects

    New building for the Aalto University School of Business

    Aalto University School of Business
    Read
    Facade of the Aalto University Väre Building for The School of Art, Design and Architecture, designed by Verstas Architects. Alvar Aalto's iconic main building in the background.

    A building for the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture in the iconic Otaniemi campus.

    Aalto University Väre Building
    Read

    Healing architecture for a major hospital extension.

    Lapland Central Hospital
    Read
    View of the Domkyrkoberget parish centre competition proposal by Verstas Architects

    The competition brief sought a design for a […]

    Domkyrkoberget Parish Centre competition
    Read

    Multi-purpose education centre in Turku.

    Syvälahti Education Centre
    Read

    Church and congregation centre in Vantaa.

    Tikkurila Church
    Read

    Integrated campus of specialized healthcare

    Helsinki Trauma & Cancer hospital competition
    Read
    Jätkäsaari School competition proposal by Verstas Architects

    Bilingual comprehensive school in Helsinki.

    Jätkäsaari school competition
    Read
    The lobby of the Saunalahti School designed by Verstas Architects in Espoo FInland

    Multi-purpose school building for 750 pupils in Espoo, Finland.

    Saunalahti School
    Read
    Kirkkojärvi School by Verstas Architects, an aerial photograph

    Comprehensive school for 770 pupils in Espoo, Finland.

    Kirkkojärvi School
    Read

    Private high school campus near Moscow, Russia.

    Moscow Larevo School Campus competition
    Read

    Vibrant and versatile meeting place.

    Helsinki Central Library competition
    Read

    A friendly fortress.

    Aurinkokivi School competition
    Read

    War history centre in Lappeenranta.

    Kannas Centre
    Read

    A house for the Sámi tradition and culture.

    Sámi Culture Centre competition
    Read

    City center campus library of the University of Helsinki.

    University of Helsinki Central Campus Library competition
    Read

    Visitor Centre for the UNESCO World Heritage site.

    Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre
    Read