Finnish firm Verstas Architects has won a competition to design a new core campus for Aalto University in Otaniemi, Finland, near Helsinki. Selected from 189 entries, Verstas’s proposal—titled “'Väre”—reflects the old main building and library designed by Alvar Aalto on the current campus.
“The simple basic module produces a convincing variety of spatial arrangements, and it is adaptable and flexible but with a clear and distinct architectural character,” according to a statement from the competition’s jurors. “Users move from the general public areas upwards towards more private and intimate places or from interdisciplinary to more specialized activities, a mode of operation completely in tune with the expressed aims of the university.”
The jury also commended the design for its ability to work within the context of the historic buildings while creating outdoor spaces. “Good internal connections, synergy benefits, and energy efficiency are achieved by placing the functions in a single building,” jurors noted. “The building's pattern of interconnected units nested around the main foyer comprises a diverse array of routes and spaces, providing a flexible platform for future development.