The University launched its first Think Corner during Helsinki’s Design Capital year, 2012. Think Corner made top research accessible to the local community and was a smash success. It has been a part of the University ever since.
– Our earlier experiences encouraged us to keep going, explains Jukka Kola, Rector of the University of Helsinki.
– The new Think Corner will be the heart of the City Centre Campus, connecting the University community and its surrounding society with science. The goal is to increase the social impact of research and to find new methods for international science communication.
The new Think Corner will also highlight the University’s cooperation with its international partners.
– We designed the service concept for the new Think Corner together with the University community, many of our interest groups as well as the local community, explains Tanja Paananen, the University’s head of marketing.
Surveying the needs, wishes and even dreams of the users of the new Think Corner was one of the central goals of the development project.
– We thought about whether it would be possible to turn science into a service, and how we could make students, researchers and partners work and learn together. How could Think Corner best serve the University’s strategic goals?”
The development of Think Corner continues. Workshops for staff and students are being organised this week. In November, the project will tour the campuses.
Open to the street
The renovated building will encourage multidisciplinary encounters for studying and work, and will allow for many different types of projects.
The street level of the former Administrative Building is being radically transformed into an open area featuring wood and natural stone. The renovation was designed by the winner of the University’s architecture competition, JKMM Architects, known for designing Finland’s Kirnu pavilion for the World Expo 2010 in China, as well as the Seinäjoki city library.
The construction is based on a system that is fairly new in Finland – it's an alliance project, with the University of Helsinki as the owner, SRV Construction Ltd as the contractor and JKMM Architects the designer.
The opening ceremony for the new Think Corner will be held in autumn 2017.
An impressive tenant
The University of Helsinki found Reaktor to be a suitable partner to rent five and a half floors of the new building.
Reaktor is a technology company which helps its customers grow in the digital world. Reaktor’s clients include Finnair, Supercell, HBO and Michael Kors.
– For the University, Reaktor is much more than a tenant paying rent. We intend to plan many different kinds of cooperation with the company, reveals Rector Kola.