Otaniemi

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{city, large, area}
{area, community, home}
{water, park, boat}
{island, water, area}
{school, student, university}
{mi², represent, 1st}
{acid, form, water}

Otaniemi (Finnish), or Otnäs (Swedish), is a district of Espoo, Finland. It is located near the border of Helsinki, the capital of Finland.

Otaniemi is the home of the Helsinki University of Technology (TKK) campus; "Otaniemi" is often used as a synonym for TKK. However, several research and business facilities are also located in Otaniemi. The most prominent institutions for science and engineering in Otaniemi are the Finnish Innovation Center, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, the Micronova Center of Micro and Nanotechnology, the KCL pulp and paper research center, the CSC IT Center for Scientific Computing, the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK), and the National Bureau of Measures (MIKES). Business is represented in the area by the business incubator Technopolis. On 1 January 2010, Otaniemi became home to Aalto University, formed from the merger of the Helsinki University of Technology, the University of Art and Design Helsinki, and the Helsinki School of Economics.

Otaniemi hosts a vibrant—and at times rowdy—student community especially concentrated in the several blocks of student housing called Teekkarikylä (Swedish: Teknologbyn, literally technology students' village). Some buildings of Teekkarikylä are owned by the student association of TKK; others are owned by HOAS.

Many buildings located in the Otaniemi campus area, including the main building of TKK, were designed by the world-renowned Finnish architect Alvar Aalto. For this reason, the area is protected as a national scenic area, representing the modernist and functionalist architecture for which Finland is internationally famous.

Contents

History

As late as the 1940s, Otaniemi was farmland. In 1949, the Government of Finland purchased the lands of Otaniemi Manor for use as the campus of the Helsinki University of Technology and the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. First to be built was the student campus of the Helsinki University of Technology, which also served as one of the Olympic Villages in the 1952 Summer Olympics. Several thousand students currently live in Otaniemi. The region has since been built up around TKK and VTT, and is at the core of Finnish scientific and technological activities. The area is architecturally unique, boasting buildings designed by leading Finnish architects including Alvar Aalto, Heikki and Kaija Sirén, and Reima and Raili Pietilä. Aalto is an alumnus of TKK, and the designer of both the city plan for the Otaniemi area and the main building of TKK.

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