A NEW CAMPUS CELL, OTANIEMI

Collaborated with Min-Jae, Kim / Seung-Min, Ko

 

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도시적 접근 

주어진 대지의 지리 및 환경 조건을 고려하는 방법으로, 새로운 캠퍼스 지구는 도심과 근교 자연에서 발견되는 상반된 성격을 지닌 장소로 계획하는 것을 목표로 한다. 고밀도 도시의 중심부에 위치한 오타니에미 대학교의 새로운 캠퍼스를 위한 부지는 시내 각종 편의 시설이나 대중 교통 결절점으로의 접근이 용이한 이점을 지니는 한 편, 남서에서 북동쪽 해변으로 이어지는 녹지 선상에 위치해 다양한 자연환경에 인접해 있다.

 

Urban Strategy

In order to fully respond the geographical and environmental condition of the site, the new campus is design to convey dual character of being green and urban. As much as the new campus design for Aalto University in Otaniemi accomplishes a high level of urban density that may be found in a campus located in a city center, where facilities are within walking distances and transportation systems are well coordinated, it also has found its home surrounded and cuddled by nature all around. Where the major dense green axis expanding from the South West to the North East seashore meets Otnasvagen, one of the main vehicle accesses on the site, there is a new hub for the neighborhood. Located at the junction of green and

urban axis is a new central square which would be shared by varying communities and neighborhoods. Along with the existing collective spaces scattered on the urban axis, the new hub at the very core of the new campus site is expected to generate a better growth of the area by stimulating the circulation and by supporting varying events that may be held by the  university and the local communities.

The new campus site thoroughly adapts to the existing transportation system, through which the site refuses to isolate itself from the surrounding but actively welcomes the visitors and local communities. The new addition of campus site designed with the public in mind, which resulted in a wide range of commercial facilities and varying types of public spaces. The

improved level of accessibility on the site is achieved by adapting to the existing connection of public transportation system as well as by providing routes and paths for different kinds of circulation.

 

bird eye view(h)

Campus Cells

“I once stated that the best standardization committee in the world was nature herself; but in nature standardization appears, above all and al­most exclusively, only in the smallest units, the cells. This results in millions of elastic combina­tions in which there is no trace of formalism. Fur­thermore, this gives rise to the enormous wealth of organic growing shapes and their eternal change. Architectonic standardization must follow the same path.”

 – during a lecture held at the Nordic Building Con­ference in Oslo 1938; published in ‘ARK’, 1938, 9, p. 129-131 (translated from Finnish to English)

 

Aalto once mentioned how he had been impressed by the standardization and formation of cells he found in the nature. It seemed that Aalto had seen good potentials in the elastic joints between each unit of cells and their co independent position, which he believed could be brought and applied to architectural design. The new campus site for the Aalto University in Otaniemi is going to realize the ideal setting found in cells in order to provide prospective learning environments. Each department is given their own territories in separate building units, which all together create a series of adaptable and flexible spaces within and around the site. A single cell unit may be found introverted and closed, yet the elastic membrane binds the multiple units together. Each department building is connected by bridges elevated on the second and third floor, and they also share the sheltered public spaces in the middle. The new campus site is destined to transfer the inspiring ideas once Aalto had observed in the nature into a form of architecture, which is going to be appreciated and celebrated by varying groups of people that visit the site on a regular basis.

 

central square

Central Square

Where the green and urban axis meet on the site there is a new open gathering space with the Aalto library on one side and the chemistry building on the other. The central square, the new hub, provides a rather open and empty space for a wide range of events in the future. In resemblance of a major public square in a medieval city center, the border of the new square is defined by the facades of old and new campus building, with the new metro station entrance at its corner. Freed from any vehicle access, the square is dedicated for the pedestrians and bike riders. The core function of the square is to anchor the two different axis that hold the new campus cells and bind them with the existing context. Situated at the junction of major circulation flows with a given function of educational programme all around its site, the new hub is set to invite the public in a way that no other surrounding collective spaces have been able to achieve.

 

entrance perspective(h)

Student Forest

Compared to the main square that is empty and open, the linear public space running from West to East through campus site is in form of artificial forest. Y shaped columns made of layered plywood, which may remind the viewers of the Aalto’s original design of round stool, stand in grid supporting the space framed glass roof structure above. The covered outdoor space belongs to the local communities as much as it serves the university community, for it provides varying facilities including retails and restaurants that can and should be shared by students, faculties, and the neighborhoods.

With similar characters of the elastic membrane between cells, the sheltered public space binds and bonds the separate building unites together, where a group of wooden columns create poetic yet dynamic vistas in between. Yielding the main axis for a larger group of public, the new campus cells actively engage themselves with the local community as well as it generates a higher level of interaction between varying groups of people. Restaurants and cafes spread out through the forest, providing informal gathering spaces for students, faculties, and the passersby. When stores and shops privatize their front yard at certain time of year, more dynamic use of the space would be presented. Students and visitors would find clustered places to eat out as street cafes. Art supply stores and book shops are located at a specific spot so that it could meet the needs and wants of the students in the related major.

The idea of student forest is derived from a belief that public spaces should be shared and visited as much as possible. While the academic atmosphere is well preserved with a certain distance away and levels separated, the buildings are built to embrace the public that they serve and support.

 

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Cells and Courtyards

One of the most important features in the new campus buildings is their dual character. Inspired from the composition and performance of a cell Aalto found in the nature, each department is given a building with a rigid shell on the outside and a soft skin inside. The volumetric form of the building has its inspiration on the closed and protective cell structure. Viewed from the student forest, the buildings provide rather solid and strong impression, which is accomplished by a rectangular figure of the façade where a controlled play of wooden louvers hinders punched windows behind. The six building unites share a common principal in a way to create a continuous and generic backdrop for the student forest.

As entering to the courtyard on the ground floor, one may gain a better idea on the identity and characteristic of each building. The courtyards are designed with rather playful and dynamic appearances compared to the rigid shell on the exterior. Each courtyard is given a unique form of undulating walls with different finishes. Events and exhibition of the department may be held within and invite the visitors and guests into the cell.

The neighboring department can be reached via flying bridges on the upper floors, which play a key role for the circulation control on the new campus site; separated from the visitors and passersby on the ground floor, the bridged spaces are dedicated for the students and faculties only. Students and faculties are able to enjoy hovering in and around the forest, yet visually connected to the public space users on the lower level. Through the bridge on the elevated level, the academic functions are connected with each other, and varying types of interaction and communication are constantly created.

 

masterplan(1000)

Landscape Design

One of the interesting observations on the existing condition was the unique pattern on the landscape that has been created by connecting the entrances of separate buildings. It does not only fulfill the functional needs of circulation on the site, but also preserves sufficient areas to be filled with green surfaces and bushes. The new campus site carries this idea further along by bridging the access from one building to another, which resulted in an extended pattern on the ground. The irregularly sized bubble areas created between the paths crisscrossing are finished and furnished with varying materials to serve the public domain.

The student forest and the main square present continuity with their landscape design, along with the surrounding buildings around. As the majority of the existing trees are preserved, no additional work for landscape has been added. The scattered grass squares near the edge of the main square imply the dense green areas around, and the row of aging lime trees are invited into the main square where the concrete panels answer the existing nature with larger grass squares on the ground.

 

overall plan(4000)

Sustainable Campus

Sustainability of the new campus site has been achieved in varying scales from master plan to building details. All the building unites are rotated towards either South East or South West in a way to bring rather evenly distributed daylight into the spaces through the day. As the public transportation provides a higher level of accessibility, public spaces are pedestrian and bike riders friendly. Buildings share the common facilities built in the public area, which include the rainwater harvesting system and green roofs. Raw materials manufactured by the local companies will be used for the finish on the exterior and interior of the building with no chemical treatment required. In order to be able to quickly respond to the changing needs for space in the future, the buildings are designed flexible and adaptable with none load bearing walls in a three meter grid.

 

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Prospective

The new campus cells aim to support the prospective growth of the Aalto University by stimulating the continuous discovery of existing strengths and potentials found in the suburban context of Otaniemi. With the new addition of campus site, the university community will find newer ways to engage with the neighboring communities. As the new campus cells actively support the idea of creating multidisciplinary learning environments, it serves the university community as a whole and invites the visitors through and around. Most of the public spaces are meant to be shared between different groups of people, and varying levels of direct and indirect communication are constantly created throughout the site.

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