Aalto University Learning Centre – Merging the Past & the Future

Finally, this Monday, the new Aalto University Learning Centre has opened its doors at Otaniementie 9, Espoo!
The space has been carefully thought through and offers great possibilities for learning.

Preserving the Heritage

Currently, the new Aalto University Learning Centre is occupying 3 floors of the former library. The building was designed by Alvar Aalto and completed in 1970. Fortunately, the historical heritage is well preserved: Aalto’s spirit is very vivid in both the 1st and the 2nd floors of the building. It manifests through iconic furniture, lighting fixtures and, especially, through the signature of Aalto’s architecture – round ceiling voids.

Initially, the lobby of the building had a darker atmosphere and the light coming from the voids had a metaphorical meaning. It meant to resonate with the students raising to the light of knowledge, while simultaneously taking stairs up to the library’s rooms.
However, the pure culmination of Aalto’s aesthetics you can find in the former Director’s office. Both the  Director’s office and adjacent Secretary’s office are are now commonly available as meeting rooms.

Adding the Modern Touch

In the contrast to the upper floors, the basement of the building has a modern and hip vibe. Its new appearance came together with a help of local design-professionals. First of all, Tuomo Remes from NRT completely reorganized the floor’s structure. According to the changed function two lower floors were merged together. Further on, Päivi Meuronen, from JKMM, planned the interior. Undoubtedly, chosen spatial solution brings just the right feeling of youthfulness and innovation. Currently, the stylish basement accommodates video recording studio, makerspace and a mysterious cave-room for relaxation.

Introducing the Innovations

Furthermore, following the current digitization trends, majority of the educational resources in the center are available in electronic format. Therefore, the shelves in the library are hosting tablet computers among traditional books.
On top of that, there is a new brilliant Lock-and-load solution. Based on the user’s needs sets of special lockers are now located in the building. Each of the boxes have a coded lock and a socket inside. It allows students to leave their laptops and tablets safely charging during a lunch break, for instance. Eventually, continue their studies with both their energy and their devices recharged.
Generally, it is inspiring to see how fast the world of education is moving forward! Nonetheless, still valuing the great classics like basic paper books and iconic Scandinavian design.

Learn more about the new services, visit the Aalto University Learning Centre website!