On the Path to Niemi

There has been a lot of movement on the campus front during last few months. Here is where we stand right now.

In March, Aalto University Board decided to build two new premises in the epicenter of the Otaniemi campus. Those were Maarintie 13 (known for some as “Väre 2”) and Otakaari 2, which consists of two separate buildings. In April, it was decided that all the school functions currently placed in Töölö will move to Otaniemi once a new building has been built for our school. Next major decision is scheduled for June, as the University Board will decide the very building where the School of Business will be placed.

Location of Maarintie 13 in Otaniemi

Location of Maarintie 13 in Otaniemi

In principle, the two possibilities for the new business school are the ones mentioned above; Maarintie 13 and Otakaari 2. In practice though, the conversations have solely concentrated on Maarintie 13, as it is a single building and told to have more space than the Otakaari 2 buildings combined. Moreover, there is a possibility to get more space for BIZ’s operations from the ARTS-side of Väre-complex that is most probably to be oversized.

The whole building process could be finished by as early as 2019, and the planning schedule is extremely tight. While this might feel like unnecessary rushing, the logic behind the up-tempo procedure is clear. The campus is not supposed to remain as a construction site forever, so the University wants to finish its large campus development projects as soon as possible. Even more concretely, not having to shut down the construction site and then reboot it again saves an eight-digit sum of euros.

The school formed a Campus Steering Group to monitor the process, squad including me and our chairman Henrik as student representatives. Right now we need to decide what kind of functions and what kind of spaces we’ll need in the new building (e.g. size of lecture halls, number and type of restaurants and cafés) and eventually we will come down to the amount of floor space that is required.  And right now it seems like there would be enough space to house our school, based on the possibility of getting an extra fifth floor on top of the original sketches.

Preliminary situation of the space needed

Preliminary situation of the space needed

 Maarintie 13’s location in the middle of Otaniemi campus, right next to the metro station, is nothing short of ideal. As long as we are not building too scarce spaces based on today’s utilization rates only and do not execute unnecessary shortsighted cuts, it seems that the business students are getting a new home that will fill the bill for decades to come.  However, the plans are to be completed fast, so if you have anything to point out regarding what should be included in the new business school building, raise your hand now and contact e.g. yours truly. Any take or point can mean a lot at this stage.


On the watch,

Juho Paavola

Member of the Board, Academic Affairs and stuff