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.