Aalto University implements the art percent principle: Dipoli's new art collection


The artists of the works are Aalto University alumni and represent numerous different fields of art.

Hans-Christian Berg's site-specific artwork at the festive staircase of Dipoli: Color Space – Color Lensing blind, 2017, 200 x 280 x 18 cm, acrylics. Photo: Aalto University/Mikko Raskinen.

A public art collection by the name of Radical Nature was opened on Tuesday 24 October at Aalto University's main building Dipoli in Otaniemi, Espoo. The collection is the first time the university has put its decision on complying with a one per cent art principle in its building projects into practice.

The art percent is a funding model for art purchases, where approximately one per cent of a building project's funds are allocated to art purchases. Aalto University applies this principle to new construction projects, renovation projects as well to infill development and infrastructure development. Art procurements are made by purchasing ready works of art, ordering location-specific art works or organising art competitions.

'It seems that Aalto is the first and for now only university in Finland that has committed to the art percent principle. Public art will be a vital part of the Otaniemi area's development. Art is on display in the campus area's numerous galleries and buildings as well as throughout the area,' says Aalto University Vice President Anna Valtonen. She is responsible for the strategy and decision-making related to art procurements at Aalto University.

The Radical Nature art collection comprises 30 works, which have been selected specifically for the Dipoli building. The building designed by architects Raili and Reima Pietilä and completed in 1966 was reopened in September 2017 after undergoing extensive renovation.


Inni Pärnänen: Keto, site-specific artwork, 2017, 320 x 250 cm, birch plywood. Photo: Aalto University/Mikko Raskinen.

'The collection's name Radical Nature references Dipoli's wild spaces of varying shape, but also to the responsibility people hold for the wellbeing of nature and the environment. For example, behind the beauty displayed by thousands of glittering drops of water in artist Renata Jakowleff's work, there is an underlying concern for the contamination of our seas and oceans and a optimism that we may find solutions to build a better environment,' explains Aalto Art Coordinator Outi Turpeinen. She has been responsible for curating the art collection and the procurement of art works.

The artists of the works are Aalto University alumni and represent numerous different fields of art. The majority of the works are from recognised and experienced photographers such as Elina Brotherus, Jorma Puranen, Ulla Jokisalo and Ilkka Halso. The art works also include a diverse range of materials, such as ceramics, metal, glass and plywood, and their artists include Hans-Christian Berg, Inni Pärnänen and Tiia Matikainen.

A total of approximately 200,000 euros was used on the procurement of the art collection.

Further information:
Aalto University Vice President Anna Valtonen,
Dean of the School of Arts, Design and Architecture
tel. +358 (0)50 5922 317

Art Coordinator Outi Turpeinen
Aalto University
tel. +358 (0)50 4314194

The Handbook of the Percent for Art Principle in Finland