The Faculty of Theology returns to its roots in the Main Building

Thanks to their focus on inclusivity, the new facilities can also accommodate specialist staff and students.

After 10 years in premises located on Vuorikatu, the Faculty of Theology has relocated to the newly renovated Main Building. The facilities made available to the Faculty are located on the fourth and fifth floors.

The move was delayed slightly, and some of the equipment haven’t yet found a place, but according to Dean Antti Räsänen, the Faculty community is happy with the facilities.

“They have even exceeded expectations. The facilities are fit for purpose, and the location is also excellent.”

Facilities imbued with history

“The Faculty of Theology operated in the same facilities in the 1970s,” Räsänen reminisces.

According to the University’s archives, the Faculty of Theology moved from the Main Building to Neitsytpolku in the Eira district in the academic year 1974–1975. From there, it relocated to Aleksanterinkatu in the mid-90s. The move to Vuorikatu took place in 2013.

“Now we are returning to our roots in the Main Building.”

In the new faculty room, previously the Morphology Archives of Finnish language, people sit at a U-shaped table designed by Ilmari Tapiovaara, on chairs designed by Elli Ruuth. Originally, the table was designed for the Faculty of Social Sciences.

There is other old furniture in use as well, including a piece known as the apostle cabinet. According to Helsinki University Museum Flame, it was created by designer Arttu Brummer. Brummer designed part of the furniture for the new side of the Main Building, completed in 1937.

Facilities promote inclusivity

On the fifth floor, the Faculty’s tradition of providing students with a lounge on Faculty premises continues. According to Dean Räsänen, the space reserved for the Faculty Association for Theology Students (TYT) is open to all students of theology within the opening hours of the building.

Collaboration between staff and University Services sectors has also been taken into consideration. The fourth floor houses a facility for University Services, with work stations for six specialists from various sectors.

“This way, people get to meet each other more easily, making cooperation easier.”

The Faculty will be celebrating its homecoming in early November, and in November the facilities will also be introduced to the Faculty’s alumni.

According to Räsänen, the planning for the new facilities and the related relocation began already in 2019. The importance of the work environment and facilities has only increased along the way. Motivation for work and the efficient work that results from good motivation are linked to the functionality of the workplace and the level of wellbeing it engenders. These are worth investing in.

“We hope that staff and students will find their way to the new facilities and enjoy them. They are designed to be used. Based on our brief experience so far, there have already been many positive encounters and a new kind of inclusivity in our new facilities.”