Aalto University School of Business

A new communal home in Otaniemi

The interior design for Aalto University’s new School of Business main building was developed in close collaboration with the School of Business project team and the building’s architect, Verstas Architects. The last school to relocate to Aalto University’s new Otaniemi campus, the School of Business has strongly emphasized the importance of offering welcoming and appealing facilities for existing and new students, highly esteemed professors and visiting lecturers alike. This historic move also represents a new era for the School of Business, as it becomes part of a larger community where students of the various Aalto schools come together to build relationships in a diverse environment.

The basis for the interior design was the architectural concept, the School of Business service design plan, as well as the school’s brand identity and heritage. The building needed to not only to serve its students and faculty members, but also the school’s large and highly active alumni network. The project was defined by five adjectives derived from the service design concept: authentic, dignified, warm, safe, and sustainable. The task was to interpret these definitions in a spatial environment, resulting in a visual representation of the school’s core values. In addition to interior design, each space received custom-designed patterns and ornamentations, which further define the school’s unique brand identity. The patterns appear on various surfaces, in partitions, and pieces of furniture.

The color palette incorporates the Business School’s heritage hue, "dollar green", which is portrayed as accents throughout several communal spaces. This signature tone is contrasted by brick red tones, repeated in upholstery and seating and highlighted against natural oak and soft grey backdrops. The School of Business’ classic Domus chairs, originally designed by Ilmari Tapiovaara in 1946 for the school’s student housing facilities, were refurbished and reupholstered and can now be found in the ground floor restaurant and various open study areas.