Otaniemi’s shopping centre under renovation

Known as Otaniemi’s old shopping centre and designed by Alvar Aalto, the renovation began in March 2020 on Aalto University’s campus
Image: Helifoto

Renovation of the shopping centre on Aalto University's campus in Otaniemi began in March 2020. The work is scheduled for completion in May 2021. The building, completed in 1961, was designed by Alvar Aalto

‘The purpose of the renovation is to bring this significant building back to its original purpose in a worthy way. With the new life, the old shopping centre will offer more attractive services to the rapidly developing area and represent the campus thanks to its central location’, says Aalto University Campus & Real Estate’s Managing Director Ville Jokela

The building will be renovated to serve diverse business operations and the building services technology will be renewed. The facade will also be renovated and restored. All old windows and exterior doors will be refurbished or renewed according to the old original plans. The renovation plans have been made with respect to the historical and architectural value of the building in cooperation with the Finnish Heritage Agency and the Alvar Aalto Foundation. 

Historically and socially integral 

Otaniemi’s old shopping centre is familiar to many who have studied and lived on the campus. The building has also been described as a calling card of the campus area, as it is situated at entry points to the campus and is centrally located in the vicinity of the university’s main building Dipoli, the Undergraduate Centre and the Harald Herlin Learning Centre. The building is also a rarity, as it is one of the few retail buildings designed by Alvar Aalto. 

The shopping centre's white, plastered walls, large shop windows and the corridor running in front of the entire building, as well as the fan-like roof, distinguish the building from other red-brick research and teaching buildings designed by Alvar Aalto. 

More services for the Otaniemi campus 

The shopping centre will continue to be an interesting and attractive meeting place also in the future. At the same time, Otaniemi's services are being developed more comprehensively, and the development of the shopping centre takes into account the area's service concepts. 

‘The tenant complex of the shopping centre is currently being formed, and the centre will offer local services that support everyday life, as well as meeting places with restaurants, stores and office space. In the future, the old shopping centre and shopping centre A Bloc will act as a concentration of leisure and services on campus and support each other by offering diverse services and facilities’, says Aalto University Campus & Real Estate's Head of Leasing and Sales Jenna Isokuortti

Address of the building: Otakaari 27, 02150 Espoo   
Builder: Otaniemen Liikekeskus Oy   
Main contractor: Pakrak Oy   
Architectural planning: Arkkitehdit Q4 Oy   
Schedule of the renovation: March 2020 – May 2021 
Project pages: https://www.aalto.fi/en/locations/otaniemis-old-shopping-centre 

Additional information 

Matters related to leasing: 
Jenna Isokuortti 
Head of Leasing and Sales 
Aalto University Campus & Real Estate 
[email protected] 
+358 50 464 4020 

Matters related to the renovation: 
Jarmo Wilander 
Director, Construction Development 
Aalto University Campus & Real Estate 
[email protected] 
+358 40 541 3304 

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