The university area covers about 17 hectares and is just off the town centre of Joensuu, at one end of the axis made up of the town’s civic buildings. The first phase of the campus complex was completed in 1979. The main building, with large auditorium and campus library was completed in 1985.
The dimensioning basis for the land use planning was 4500 students, 660 teachers and other staff. The area also holds the university teacher training school.The land-use plan places the departments in separate three-storey buildings forming their own yard. The two roads already running through the university area, Kuopiontie and Martikkalantie, which divide it into three separate sections, led to the choice of this planning principle. The plan also seeks to integrate the buildings with the scale of the Joensuu street scene and to give each department a distinct place in the layout.
The building frame is mainly concrete cast in situ. The façades are in red Tohmajärvi brick. Red brick was the façade material of the buildings that already existed in the university area, and it was also used for the floors and walls of the lobby areas of the new complex. The ceiling ducts, window and door surrounds are faced with dark brown plasticized steel sheeting.
The campus complex was designed by Erkki Valovirta and Jan Söderlund. They were assisted by Risto Marila. Markku Nors was in charge of the interior design. Onni Savonlahti was in charge of the landscape design.
Source: Finnish Architectural Review 4/1979, 8/1985