Shopping centre A Blanc opens in Otaniemi during summer

Designed by Alvar Aalto, the building previously known as Otaniemi’s old shopping centre, currently shopping centre A Blanc, was modernised to serve diverse business operations with respect to its historical value.
Illustration of A Blanc Arkkitehdit Q4.

The comprehensive renovation of shopping centre A Blanc has been completed. The significant building, designed by Alvar Aalto, was modernised to support its original purpose as a service concentration for the Otaniemi campus and surrounding areas.

Located in the heart of the Aalto University campus on the edge of the Alvarinaukio square, the stores of the shopping centre will open in stages during the summer of 2021. The opening ceremony of the entire centre will be celebrated on Thursday, 2 September. The premises are currently being finalised and furnished.

A Blanc will feature specialty stores and services, such as hairdresser Shortcut AALTO, costume rental company Tapiolan Juhlapuku and Beer and whiskey house Vesiheinä. Healthcare company Terveystalo’s main unit in Otaniemi, as well as office spaces will be located on the second floor of the shopping centre. As the second service concentration on campus, A Blanc forms a working pair with shopping centre A Bloc located next to the metro station.

Renovation completed respecting the old

The shopping centre, designed by the architectural firm Alvar Aalto, was renovated to serve diverse business operations. The retail building was originally finalised in two phases in 1961 and 1969, and the renovation took place from March 2020 to May 2021.

The shopping centre’s building services technology was renewed, and the facades were renovated and restored. The original fan-like copper roof was kept. All old windows and exterior doors were refurbished or renewed according to the old original plans. At the same time, a large new terrace area with customer seats was created in front of the centre. The renovation plans were made with respect to the historical and architectural value of the building in cooperation with the Finnish Heritage Agency and the Alvar Aalto Foundation.

With the renovation, the building was renamed shopping centre A Blanc. The name drew inspiration from the white colour of the shopping centre, which distinguishes the building from the area’s other red-brick research and teaching buildings designed by Alvar Aalto. The prefix ‘A’ of the name refers to Aalto University and its logo consisting of the letter A, as in the names of other service concepts on the Otaniemi campus.

Get to know the stores of the shopping centre on A Blanc’s website and follow the centre on Facebook for current news.

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

Shopping centre pages ablanc.fi
Shopping centre Facebook page

 

Contact 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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