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Finland's largest business school opens new home in Otaniemi

The School of Business has moved to the Aalto University campus, where all six departments will be under the same roof for the first time in almost 50 years.

Aalto-yliopiston kauppakorkeakoulun kolme kerrosta.
The new Aalto University School of Business building is light and bright. Image: Petteri Juuti / Yle

An era came to an end last week when the former Helsinki School of Economics moved premises from its old location in Helsinki's Töölö district to a new 40-million-euro custom-built building in Espoo's Otaniemi, on the Aalto University campus.

Bachelors degree instruction in the now-named Aalto University School of Business has been held at the Otaniemi campus since 2015. Aalto University was the result of the 2010 merger of three major Finnish universities: the Helsinki School of Economics (established in 1904), the Helsinki University of Technology (1849) and the University of Art and Design Helsinki (1871).

Aalto-yliopiston kauppakorkeakoulun portaikko.
The new space accommodates about 2,000 people Image: Petteri Juuti / Yle

The new building in Otaniemi has four floors, and features a restaurant, café and teaching premises on the ground floor. The upper floors contain more teaching facilities, a learning hub for students, meeting and team space for both staff and students, and offices for faculty and staff.

"My first impression of the whole building is really good. My personal favourite is the learning hub; there are a lot of people there all the time," said fourth-year student Maria Aalto.

Aalto-yliopiston Kauppakorkeakoulussa opiskelevat Heikki Helaniemi ja Maria Aalto kiittelevät uusien tilojen toimivuutta.
Students Heikki Helaniemi and Maria Aalto are happy with the new facility. Image: Petteri Juuti / Yle
Aalto-yliopiston kauppakorkeakoulun ala-aula.
The staircase in the lower lobby is made of natural stone from Portugal. Image: Petteri Juuti / Yle

The move means that for the first time in almost five decades, all six of the School of Business departments will be located under one roof, allowing collaboration between management studies, accounting, marketing, finance, economics and information and service management departments' students, researchers and faculty.

The relocation also means that all three universities that were merged in 2010 are now finally located at the Aalto University campus in Otaniemi.

"Now it really feels like we are part of the Aalto community because we are located right here in the centre of everything. It is very big motivator," says Perttu Kähäri, development manager of the business school.

The new School of Business building is a part of a larger block of buildings, including the School of Arts, Design and Architecture’s new building called Väre, the shopping centre A Bloc and an entrance to the Otaniemi metro station.

Kauppakorkeakoulu-rakennuksen arkkitehtuuria.
The Finnish architect firm of Verstas designed the new building Image: Mika Huisman / Aalto-yliopisto

Aalto-yliopiston kauppakorkeakoulun opiskelijoita istumassa tietokoneiden kanssa nojatuoleissa lasiseinän edustalla.
A learning hub on an upper floor is open to students 24 hours a day. Image: Petteri Juuti / Yle

The entire block was designed by Verstas Architects, alumni of Aalto University, who won the international architectural competition in 2012-2013.

The School of Business' old main building, located in Töölö at Runeberginkatu 14-16, will now be fully renovated, and the plan is for the Aalto Executive Education programme to use these premises after the renovation is completed in 2020. The Arkadia and Chydenia buildings that once belonged to the complex have been sold to new owners.

Aalto-yliopiston kauppakorkeakoulu ulkoa.
The facade of the new building is made of red brick and glass, in order to blend in well with the rest of the Otaniemi campus. Image: Petteri Juuti / Yle

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