- ALA Architects
- Otakaari 24, 02150 Espoo, Finland
- Aalto University Campus & Real Estate
Dipoli, the iconic, experimental student union building of Helsinki University of Technology designed by Raili and Reima Pietilä and completed in 1966 has gone through a complete renovation and gotten a new life as the main building of Aalto University. The landmarked building, located on the edge of the Alvar Aalto designed Otaniemi campus, is the result of an architectural competition organized in 1961, where the Pietiläs’ entry was awarded shared 2nd prize. The renovation was part of the larger campus reorganization project linked to the former Helsinki University of Technology campus becoming the main campus of Aalto University, born out of the merger of three Helsinki area universities.
In its new role Dipoli functions as the meeting place for the university administration, the academic community, the students and other stake holders. All of these parties were also activated in the spatial re-design process that turned the building into a sustainable, flexible workspace of the future. In addition to housing the administration, Dipoli continues to function as a prime location for important lecture events, as well as university festivities, and acts as a display platform for the university’s research and design projects. The cafés and restaurants at Dipoli cater for students, staff, as well as neigborhood residents.
The Dipoli renovation project was Aalto University’s test lab for flexible working methods and mobile work. The aim of the design team led by ALA was to re-radicalize the building by creating a fresh, open and dynamic user experience, not forgetting the original designers’ vision.