academic year

The Aalto University
was created through a merger of the Helsinki School of Economics, Helsinki University of Technology and the University of Art and Design. The University started operating 1 January 2010. The former TKK (Teknillinen korkeakoulu) functioned as the Aalto University School of Science and Technology throughout 2010 and its activities continue in the form of four Aalto University schools of technology corresponding to the former faculties of TKK.
The Board of Aalto University has decided to form a new schoool between Aalto University School of Art and Design and the Department of Architecture at School of Engineering.

Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture begins to operate on 1 January 2012.


School of Science and Technology ,
a short historical summary

The School of Science and Technology history begins in 1849 when teaching first started in the "Technical School of Helsinki". In 1872 the school was named the Polytechnic School and in 1879 it became a college and was named the Polytechnic Institute. The first woman to study at the Polytechnic Institute was a student in architecture, Ida Meller.

For over 90 years the education of engineers and architects took place in the center of Helsinki , in the Hietalahti area. However, when the Hietalahti buildings became impractical for the needs of the growing university, arose the idea to move the university from downtown Helsinki to the outskirts and the decision to move to Otaniemi was taken during the 1940s.

In 1949 the state acquired the Otaniemi grounds, a large mostly unbuilt area, where the Otaniemi manor house, built in the 18th century was located. The state assigned the Otaniemi area for the use of the University, and as a result of a land use planning competition that same year, Alvar Aalto was commissioned to develop a master plan for the area.

The construction of the Otaniemi campus area started with the student-housing village between 1950-54. The opening of the village was held in 1952, the year of the Olympics in Helsinki . The second phase of the village was planned by Alvar Aalto and it was finished in 1964.

Furthermore, new facilities for different departments of technological education and research were constructed along with the housing and service accommodations. The Main Building was finished in 1965.


The Otaniemi Campus today

Otaniemi is today a large university campus and the leading technology hub featuring a unique mix of top-level academic institutions, research organisations and technology businesses.

The university buildings comprise the main building and several individual department buildings with laboratories and workshops. The main library and the Dipoli conference center are also part of the campus.

The Otaniemi student village is a home for nearly 3000 students.

Introduction to some buildings


The Main Building

The construction of the new main building of the School of Science and Technology started in 1962 and in 1965 it was completed. Elissa and Alvar Aalto acted as architects. The main group of buildings is located on a dominating hill. The amphi theatre-shaped part, which consists of two large auditoriums, forms the central section of the building. The material for the main building includes copper, black granite, dark red brick.
The Department of Architecture, as well as the Department of Surveying are located in the Main Building.


The sports centre was planned by Alvar Aalto and constructed as part of the student village in 1951-54.


The Student Union Building Dipoli was materialized in 1966 after a two-part competition won by the architects and spouses Raili Paatelainen and Reima Pietilä. The building is an excellent example of Pietilä's work, unique and diversified and at the same time descriptive of the students' spirits, having as façade material natural rocks, copper and plate with poured unfinished concrete. The building is today serving as a conference centre..

The Chapel

The Otaniemi Chapel, designed by architects Kaija and Heikki Sirén, was built in 1956-57 and due to a fire reconstructed in 1977-78.

Students' Village

Architects of the village buildings in the first phase were Heikki Sirén and Martti Melakari. Alvar Aalto planned the second phase.
During recent years, many new housing blocks have been built.

Modern Architecture

Newest additions to the university buildings are the Department of Computer Science and Engineering from the year 1998, designed by Anna Brunow - Juhani Maunula and the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management and Automation and System Technology, from 2003, designed by architects Hyvämäki - Karhunen - Parkkinen.

25.04.2007 Helsinki University of Technology, Department of Architecture | webadministrator