Otaniemi’s shopping centre will be renamed A Blanc

The renovation of the beautiful building designed by Alvar Aalto will be completed by summer.
An illustration of the building after the modernisation. Image: Arkkitehdit Q4 Oy

The building known as Otaniemi’s old shopping centre, located on Aalto University campus, is currently under renovation and the work is scheduled to be completed in May 2021. With its renovation, the shopping centre designed by Alvar Aalto will be renamed shopping centre A Blanc.

The shopping centre's white, plastered walls distinguish the building from the area’s other red-brick research and teaching buildings designed by Alvar Aalto. When designing Otaniemi, Alvar Aalto used the historical architecture of Greece and Italy as a starting point. The name drew inspiration from the colour white.

'With the name we want to emphasise the special nature of the building as a white building designed by Alvar Aalto in Otaniemi. The new name and visual identity flatter the shopping centre and raise it to a new level. As the second service concentration on the campus, it forms a working pair with the shopping centre A Bloc', says Jenna Isokuortti, Head of Leasing and Sales at Aalto University Campus & Real Estate.

The A Blanc logo and visual identity are inspired by the shopping centre’s unique copper roof and the building’s colouring.

Otaniemi’s shopping centre, completed in 1961, is familiar to many who have studied and lived on the campus. The building is also a rarity, as it is one of the few retail buildings designed by Alvar Aalto.

The building will be renovated to serve diverse business operations and the building services technology will be renewed. The property will house workspace as well as retail premises for café, restaurant and store operations, among others. At the same time, a large terrace area with customer seats will be created in front of the centre. 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.

Address of the building: Otakaari 27, 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-shopping-centre
Shopping centre pages: https://ablanc.fi

Contact information:
Jenna Isokuortti
Head of Leasing and Sales, Aalto University Campus & Real Estate
[email protected], +358 50 464 4020

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