Ethelind Coblin Architect

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Alvar Aalto University

Helsinki, Finland

Our proposal for Alvar Aalto University‚Äôs new School of Art, Architecture, Media and Design is located adjacent to Aalto’s auditorium building and library in Otaniemi, Finland. The proposed building acts as new center for the campus. The cross-shaped layout creates a four-in-one building which allows distinction to each of the four departments of the new school (art, architecture, design and media) while encouraging cross-pollination and a shared identity. Common program requirements, such as a Learning Center, restaurants and cafes, gallery, shopping center, etc. are strategically dispersed within this framework. In addition a common studio building with a flexible layout will bring together day-to-day production of student work of all departments in a creative environment.

The building’s role in the urban development and campus layout is to stitch together disparate elements and to create a center of gravity for the campus that is not in competition with Aalto’s neighboring building, but rather acts in concert and dialog, opening up new connections and an inviting and complex pattern of interaction between the various academic institutions on site. The landscape becomes part of the building, and vice versa, by traversing the building in East-West direction as accessible roofscape.