Picture: Anttinen Oiva Arkkitehdit Oy
History of the Student Center project
In 2011, Teknologföreningen (TF) knew that their current building either needed renovation in the near future or that new facilities for the organization needed to be built. Aalto University Business Students (KY) faced the same issue with its current KY building. TF also wanted to create a central meeting place in Otaniemi for Aalto students. Because KY was going to move to Otaniemi, TF and KY started investigating if their facility updates could be a joint project. After several case-studies, it was determined that the Kemisti block near the metro and center of Otaniemi would be the best location for the organizations’ facilities.
Meanwhile, the Aalto University Student Union (AYY) dreamt that all Aalto people could find their place in the community, encounter one another, and build the Aalto spirit. AYY joined the project in 2016, embarking on their biggest and most concrete step towards this dream. In 2017, AYY, KY and TF developed and approved of common pre-conditions for the project.
The Student Center will be a place where all three organizations can thrive and maintain their own unique identities. It will have convenient services, spaces to chill with friends, and opportunities to encounter new people and ideas. All Aalto people will have a reason to visit the Student Center.
Spatial program and architectural selection
This year the project has built on the work done by previous years. Each organization has determined what their own spatial needs are, so the focus this spring has been on the shared common spaces and preparing to begin conceptual design. As a working group, we have prepared a unified spatial program which describes all the spaces in the building. This will work as our starting point for working with the architects.
After an architectural tender, Antti Oiva Arkkitehdit (AOA) was chosen as the architects for the conceptual design and coordination with the city planners. AOA has started designing the Student Center based on the needs and requirements of all three organizations.
Next up: Conceptual design and project plan
Conceptual design will continue throughout the summer so that it satisfies all of our needs. The conceptual design should be completed this fall, along with a target budget, sustainability goals and schedule–collectively known as the project plan. Once each party’s decision-making body approves of the project plan, we can begin master planning, which will continue into the following year.