Finom lights have been placed at two locations inside the new Väre building

New Finom lights have been placed at two locations inside the new Väre building of Aalto Arts, one of the world’s most prolific design universities, at Alvar Aalto campus in Otaniemi. This is the first public space to feature black Finom lights.

Finom Lights originate in designer Esa Vesmanen’s desire to create an unmatched and evocative light fixture that appreciates wood in a new way. Light as an essential part of life inspired Esa to design a light fixture that celebrates Nordic Design and reminds you of nature and forest.

Aalto University’s new building open to the public in September

Väre 13.12.2018_SD_

The new building, completed in the summer of 2018 at Aalto University campus, Väre houses all departments of the School of Arts, Design and Architecture under the same roof for the first time in Aalto University’s history. With a little more than 110 million euros spent on construction makes it the single largest building project in the area since the University of Technology’s move to Otaniemi. In addition to the premises of the School of Arts, Design and Architecture, the investment includes also the building of the university’s shared facilities and a shopping centre.

Väre offers a unique framework for the research and education of art, design and architecture as well as for artistic activities.

“The campus philosophy of Aalto University becomes concrete in Väre, where street-level premises are made as open and public as possible. We’re opening the door to the world of university life”, says Antti Ahlava, Aalto University’s Vice President of Campus Development.

The combination of design, art, architecture, media, film and sculpture and the business disciplines under the same roof is internationally exceptional. In addition to the School of Art and Design, the School of Business has shared units located in Väre.

Väre runs on renewable energy and pays homage to Otaniemi’s architecture
The building complements the Otaniemi campus area designed by Aino and Alvar Aalto by giving it a fresh addition. The organizing principle for the new premises is a structural matrix formed from the two principal coordinates of Alvar Aalto’s Undergraduate Centre and Harald Herlin Learning Centre, thus forming light salon shaped halls. Visitors can admire the work of the top-level workshops on the ground floor through glass walls. Learning does not have to happen only inside lecture halls.

Väre’s premises are flexible and can adapt to future needs. “Along with new space options, we have an opportunity to try new ways of working. We can try which combination is best and develop our own activities. There is now a bubbling experimental platform in the centre of Otaniemi, and it brings together approximately 3 000 creatives”, says Anna Valtonen, Dean of Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture.

An ambitious energy class A is also sought for Väre that utilizes both solar and geothermal energy.

Väre opens door to art and services
Väre is much more than premises for learning and research. Aalto University is the first university in Finland that is committed to observing the percentage for art principle on its campus, according to which there will be permanent public art collection along with temporary art and other student work exhibitions in Väre and elsewhere in Otaniemi.

Väre amenities include the bohemian art student restaurant Kipsari, Brooklyn Café and Aalto University’s first Aalto Shop. Restaurants, shops and other services such as a sports centre will open at the end of August in A Bloc, a new shopping by the Aalto University metro station. The largest restaurant on campus can be found on the A Bloc side of the building complex. The new main building for the School of Business will be completed at the end of 2018 in the same block.

Aalto community will celebrate the opening of Väre on 5 September as part of Aalto Day One event, which opens the school year.

There will be guided tours for the personnel in Väre 27.-29.8. and 31.8. at 3 pm. Meet-up is in the entrance lobby and there are two groups leaving simultaneously. Tours are in Finnish or English depending on participants.

The block was designed by Verstas Architects, consisting of the alumni of Aalto University, which won the international architectural competition held 2012-2013. 189 proposals were entered in the competition. The main designer is Jussi Palva from Verstas Architects and the other main architects are Väinö Nikkilä, Riina Palva, Ilkka Salminen and Mikko Rossi.

Artwork chosen for the new campus buildings

The art of Väre and the School of Business reflects the multidisciplinary approach.

The artists of the first art pieces for Aalto University’s new buildings were publicized. The works of art will be displayed in the two cluster areas in the School of Arts, Design and Architecture building, Väre, and in the main entrance hall of the School of Business building. Both buildings in Otaniemi are nearing completion.

The jury chose “INSIGHT” by Tommi Grönlund and Petteri Nisunen and “LUMEN” by Kirsi Kaulanen for the School of Arts, Design and Architecture building, Väre, through an invited art competition. The joint works by Grönlund and Nisunen focus on studying natural phenomena and the essence of time. Kaulanen is best known for her laser-cut stainless-steel installations.

A design proposal for the installation for the main entrance hall of the School of Business building will be acquired from architectural ceramist Kirsi Kivivirta, whose art is centered on unique jigsaw-like wall works.

“Our aim in Aalto University is to increase the visibility, impact and value of art and creativity in society. Newly selected artworks for the School of Art, Design and Architecture and the School of Business are doing just that. They call to create new connections and relevance for our university and its teaching, research and art. The pieces act as guides not only for the new buildings, but also to the history and future of the university. I look forward to seeing the artwork in place at the opening party in September”, says Anna Valtonen, Vice President for Art and Creative Practices at Aalto University.

Aalto University is the only Finnish university that adheres to the one percent of art in its construction and renewal projects. In addition to the works by Grönlund, Nisunen, Kaulanen and Kivivirta, other art purchases will be made for Väre and the School of Business building. The 70-meter protective concrete wall next to the buildings will get a new look after the results from the student art competition.

Learning premises

Väre learning premises includes generic, specialised and informal learning premises. Generic learning premises are such as large group learning premises. Specialized learning premises are such as studios for students.

The presentation shows ARTS learning premises and shared learning modules among ARTS-BIZ and studio premises for students that are for individual, peer and group learning.

Floor 1.

F module          F101 Learning and F102 Learning

L module          L101 Group learning, L102 Learning, L105 Learning, L107 Learning, and L108 Learning

M module         M101 Learning (it) and M102 Group learning, and

Studio M1: M107 Learning, it / Studying

Q module         Q101 Learning, Q102 Group learning, Q103 Group learning, Q104 Learning, and Q105 Learning

R module          R102 Learning (it), R103 Learning, R105 Learning, R106 Learning, and R107 Group learning (Sinco)


Floor 2.

E module        Studio E2:    E201 Learning / Studying

G module         G202 Learning (it) and G203 Learning (it)

K module         Studio K2:    K201 Studying

L module         Studio L2:    L208 Learning / Studying

M module        Studio M2:   M202 Learning / Studying

O module         Studio O2:     O201 Studying

Q module         Q201 Learning, Q202 Learning, and Q203 Group learning


Floor 3.

J module         Studio J3:      J302 Learning / Studying

K module        Studio K3:      K301 Studying

Q module        Q301 Behavior lab

Väre Learning premises_SD



Kipsari, a student restaurant

Video12.3.2018: IMG_0803

Kipsari is a student restaurant, a bar, and a cafe owned by TOKYO.*

Kipsari was founded in the 1960’s in Ateneum, where the School of Art & Design used to be located. The restaurant has since moved numerous times. There was even a time when it was reduced to a trolley circling the school. Kipsari moved to its current location in Arabia in 1998.

In the late 90’s and early 2000’s Kipsari hosted numerous concerts, attracting famous Finnish bands such as Ultra Bra and 22-Pistepirkko. This fondly remembered period came to an end when it became clear that it was not financially feasable. Since then Kipsari has focused on the essentials: serving good vegeterian and vegan food to students.

Since 2008 Kipsari’s interior has been redesigned every few years. These “Face-Lifts” have been carried out by students. The latest one was done in summer of 2013 in Arabia basement.

Studio Kipsari opened on the 22.1.2018 in Otaniemi at Otakaari 7.

Kipsari will open the door at Väre in the end of August 2018.

* TOKYO was the Student Union of the University of Art and Design. After the creation of Aalto University, TOKYO continued to operate as an association. The association’s official name is the TOKYO, Students of Art, Design and Architecture in Aalto University, and it uses the abbreviation TOKYO of its name.