Otaniemi to further strengthen its status as a workplace and campus district

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2020-08-12 7:56

Major property development opportunities are opening up in the centre of Otaniemi, which promise to introduce new business premises for companies and facilities for teaching and research use beside the metro and Jokeri Light Rail, which will commence operation in 2024. At the same time, new areas are also opening up for housing construction.

In the next few years, several properties and areas currently being used by Aalto University and government agencies will be freed up for repurposing and redevelopment. The state-owned Senate Properties owns the so-called Biologi area and the so-called Meritekniikka area next to Aalto University in Otaniemi, the development of which the two parties are planning together. The Biologi and Meritekniikka areas occupy central locations in Otaniemi next to the metro station, beside the Jokeri Light Rail line. The areas’ current functions will be gradually moved elsewhere in the next few years. For example, VTT will be moving away from the Biologi area between 2022 and 2024.

The image depicts a map of the area of Otaniemi under development.
The Meritekniikka and Biologi areas on a map.


A wide range of possibilities beside the rails

Based on preliminary surveys, the areas could accommodate a total of 40,000 square metres of teaching, research and workplace facilities. In addition to this, 55,000 square metres could be initially allocated for housing construction.

“This redevelopment project could further strengthen teaching, research and business operations in Otaniemi. At the same time, it would contribute to the development of Otaniemi centre into a more unified and attractive urban area, with more services and housing alongside excellent public transport connections,” states Head of Espoo Technical and Environment Services Olli Isotalo.

Senate Properties and Aalto University Campus & Real Estate are together organising an architectural competition for the redevelopment of the areas. The competition is set to launch in autumn 2020.   

 “The City’s aim is to start the redevelopment of the area as soon as possible,” Isotalo says.

The City Board of Espoo’s Business and Competitiveness Subcommittee approved the objectives for the development of the Biologi and Meritekniikka areas in its meeting held on 10 August.

An illustration outlining the areas in Otaniemi.
A map showing the Meritekniikka area on the left and the Biologi area on the right. The outlines of the areas are approximate.

Otaniemi undergoing rapid development

In recent years, Otaniemi has developed into an increasingly diverse campus district, mixing university functions, workplaces, services and housing. The redevelopment of the Biologi and Meritekniikka areas would further strengthen the cohesion of the city structure. The development of Otaniemi is also being contributed to by the rapid development of the Keilaniemi business area and the redevelopment of the commercial and cultural centre of Tapiola.