Aalto University Metro Station

The first phase extension of the Helsinki metropolitan area subway connects Ruoholahti to Matinkylä, Espoo. Upon completion, in autumn 2017, the West Metro will service over 100,000 passengers per day.

The objective that has been set for the architecture of the stations is to create distinctive identities for each station on both urban and interior scale.

The metro station in Otaniemi resides in the heart of the Aalto University campus. The main entrance opens straight towards the main building of the campus, designed by Alvar Aalto. Among other design decisions, the Aalto University station distinguishes itself from the other stations along the West Metro route through a rich material palette. The palette is picked as to avoid gloss, and to emphasize natural materiality. The lowered ceiling is made of Cor-ten steel panels. It visually connects all the public areas of the station, and relates to the surrounding red brick environments with its color. The faceted ceiling flows through the main entrance, to the platform level and up to the entrance on Tietotie.

Aged dark copper sheet cladding, grey granite and Cor-ten sheets form the basis of the material palette for the above ground parts of the entrance buildings. Visible structures are reduced in the entrance space with an engineered, athletic, light form reminiscent of origami. Natural light is brought down to the platform level via an escalator shaft that terminates with a view towards the lime alley of the Otaniemi Mansion.

Ground level
Platform level
Longitudinal section
Short section
Axonometric view
Main entrance
Tietotie entrance

NAME: Aalto University metro station

TYPE: Commission, 2009

STATUS: Built, metro traffic started in November 2017

LOCATION: Espoo, Finland

CLIENT: Länsimetro Oy

PROGRAM: Underground metro station with two entrance pavillions, 15,500 m2 total

TEAM: ALA partners Juho Grönholm, Antti Nousjoki, Janne Teräsvirta (until 2015) and Samuli Woolston with Anniina Koskela, Harri Ahokas, Santtu Hyvärinen, Niklas Mahlberg, Olli Parviainen, Jorge Rovira, Pekka Sivula, Pekka Tainio, Jyri Tartia and Yena Young, in collaboration with Esa Piironen Architects (Esa Piironen, Juha Lumme, Henriikka Ryhänen)


COLLABORATORS: Sweco PM (Project consultant), CJN Arkkitehtitoimisto (coordinator), Konsulttiyhteenliittymä FKW (Geo, track & rock engineering), Insinööritoimisto A-Insinöörit (Structures), Pöyry Building Services , Insinööritoimisto Olof Granlund and Konsulttiryhmä Nissinen-Niemistö (HVAC)

PHOTOS: Tuomas Uusheimo

VIDEO: Minttumaari Mäntynen