Outdoor renovation of Otakaari 1 nearing completion

The outdoor renovation project around the ​​Amphi square next to the Undergraduate Centre (Otakaari 1). The project began in autumn 2021 and will be completed in autumn 2022. Developing outdoor areas is one of the central priorities of the university campus
Image: Aalto University Campus & Real Estate / Milla Uusitalo

The renovation works in the Amphi square are almost complete. You can now walk through an area the size of a football field, and the path to the student organisations' Wapputerassi (terrace area) is also accessible. The goal of the landscaping project, which started in August 2021, was to develop the ​​Amphi square between the Undergraduate Centre (Otakaari 1) and Harald Herlin Learning Centre (Otaniementie 9).

Different factors were taken into account in the renovation project, such as the cultural-historical environment of the university campus, experimental student activities, increasing natural diversity, respecting the original plan of the campus and a plan aimed at sustainable development. With good planning, many goals could be promoted at the same time, e.g. by directing the flow, adding diverse plantings and lighting, and implementing more living options in line with the values ​​of the area.

Otakaari 1, likely in the 1970s. Image: Volker von Bonin, collection of historical images, the Finnish Heritage Agency.

Needs shape paths

Due the start of the operation of the first phase of the Länsimetro shaping the movement of the campus users, the routes on the campus have been reshaping for almost five years. In this project, an accessible route was implemented, which enables a more direct route than before from the metro and the future Jokeri Light Rail stops to the largest lecture halls under the amphitheater-like structure, for example, for people with reduced mobility. Before the renovation, the accessible access required taking a long route around the interior of the building.

An equal campus environment is at the heart of the development work. The implementation of the project was planned by landscape architects Malin Blomqvist and Elina Kataja, MASU Planning Oy. 

Otakaari 1 in the future. Illustration image: MASU Planning Oy

The major construction works of the project were completed in the summer of 2022, and the finishing works will be completed in autumn 2022. The preparation of the work began in 2019 and the planning phase began in 2020, when meetings involving students, for example, were also organised.

Enjoyment and diversity with landscape projects

The development of outdoor areas is one of the central focuses of the university campus. In addition to pedestrian connections, for example, multi-use, accessibility, comfort and lighting, as well as design solutions in line with sustainable development, will be improved. 

With the Amphi square project, much-needed seats and event electricity to Alvar Aalto puisto park.

The development of outdoor areas has been requested, for example, in the feedback received through the Leesman campus survey. After the projects are completed, the outdoor areas of the campus will also better support the conditions for events, experimental student activities and environmental art.

More information 
Pauliina Skyttä, Campus Architects, [email protected] 
Aapo Pihkala, Project Manager, sustainability and landscape, [email protected] 

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