Hipsterkasbah (Otaniemi Campus, Aalto University) / ALA Architects

Boulevard Rendering. Image Courtesy of ALA Architects

ALA Architect‘s submission for Aalto University‘s Campus2015 international design competition proposed a “conglomerate of buildings to form an incubator of activity.” Their aim was to “connect existing structures and projects to create a new areal hotspot, an urban concentration with vivid street life” in order to nurture an “open display of creativity.”

Aerial Rendering. Image Courtesy of ALA Architects
Plaza Rendering. Image Courtesy of ALA Architects

ALA’s entry to the competition, which attracted a total of 189 entries from around the world, focused on a “tight street web [allowing] most learning spaces, shops, bars and cafeterias to open to public space.” Their approach to the design was sensitive to the Aalto master plan – “soft against hard – green environment to the east of the main building against a more structured and rough environment to the west” – by creating three major outdoor entities, “the Metro-Poli Square with a grand formal feel, the extended Alvarinaukio square with park-campus-like atmosphere, and the streets of the New Central Campus as a new urban ingredient.”

Street Rendering. Image Courtesy of ALA Architects
Lobby Rendering. Image Courtesy of ALA Architects

The design, which attempted to move “away from an all-embracing homogenous campus architectural style towards a more pluralistic and diverse concoction” made use of something lacking in Otaniemi: “a dense urban environment that encourages spontaneous creativity.” According to the jury, Hipsterkasbah was “unique among the entries in its urban village concept,” the originality of which was “the design’s strength.” In spite of this, the second phase of the competition ”revealed the difficulties and weaknesses inherent in the concept despite the tremendous improvements made to the overall design.”

Model. Image Courtesy of ALA Architects

You can see the other five shortlisted proposals (including the winning submission) here, and read the jury’s comments in full here (PDF).

Architects: ALA Architects
Location: , Finland
Design Team: Juho Grönholm, Antti Nousjoki, Janne Teräsvirta and Samuli Woolston with Willem Barendregt, Vladimir Ilic, Julius Kekoni, Auvo Lindroos, Aleksi Niemeläinen, Pekka Sivula, Pekka Tainio, Jussi Vuori, Haley Zhou, and Erika Österlund
Landscape Architects: MASU Planning
Structural Engineer: Arup
Traffic Design: Trafix
Renderings: VIZarch
Scale Model: Stoltmodels
Client: Properties
Area: 0.0 sqm
Year: 2015
Photographs: Courtesy of ALA Architects

References: ALA

Cite: Taylor-Foster, James. "Hipsterkasbah (Otaniemi Campus, Aalto University) / ALA Architects" 27 Oct 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 25 Oct 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=443327>