Töölö Towers opens a new building

Co-owned by the University of Helsinki and Aalto University, Töölö Towers have been providing accommodation for international researchers and other guests since 2010. On Wednesday, August 1st, the University hotel opens a new building, now offering space for twice as many guests.

Töölö Towers opens a new building

– We have already had a lot of bookings for the new B tower, says Helena Sopen-Luoma, manager of the hotel.

The new building will go even further to meet the various needs of international University staff, as it now also offers family apartments, penthouse accommodation and terraced houses with a fireplace and sauna.

– Guests stay for a minimum of one week, but they can extend their stay by up to six months, explains Sopen-Luoma.

All apartments are fully furnished, and even though some of them have their own kitchen, there are also shared cooking facilities on every floor. For researchers Rémi Lemoy (27), Brandon Malone (28), Dhruv Chaudhary (20) and Peter Huy (31), all from different countries and working on different university campuses, the shared kitchen has helped to kindle their friendship.

– We regularly meet in the kitchen and even spend our weekends together, says Lemoy.

Looking back on his time at the tower, postdoc Sudhir Sivakumaran writes in the Töölö Towers guest book:

– It is a great place to meet numerous other people from a wide range of academic fields, (...) great conversations and discussions, particularly at breakfast which, by the way, I miss now.

For chemistry student Anna Krickhahn (23) and musicologist Sibel Karakelle (35), breakfast, which is included in the rental fee, is the best time for socialising. Majid Aramand (42), technology professor from Iran, adds that:

– Being a researcher can be very isolating at times. That is why I enjoy this relaxed and social way of starting my day so much.

The central location of the hotel makes it easy for the guests to feel part of the neighbourhood. Krickhahn often pops into the frozen yoghurt bar around the corner, something that she did not have in Germany. Karakelle is fond of the Helsinki Music Centre, the opera and the city’s museums, all just a stone’s throw away from the hotel. Huy praises the sports facilities: in her opinion, they are probably the best of any university.

Everybody’s favourite place is, however, the terrace on the 11th floor, which offers a magnificent view over the city. There is one drawback though: it’s only accessible twice a week when it is sauna time.

Notwithstanding the utterly positive experiences, Aramand wishes there were more opportunities at the hotel for meeting Finns:

– It would be great to mix together Finnish and international visiting scholars and facilitate more dialogue.

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Text: Claudia Gorr
Photo: Ari Aalto
University of Helsinki, digital communications

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