The University of Turku was the first Finnish speaking university in Finland, founded in the early years of independence and based on the fundraising campaign. The university’s motto “Vapaan kansan lahja vapaa tieteelle” (A Free People’s Gift to Free Science) decorates the principal elevation of the university’s main building on the Yliopistonmäki hill.

The Main Campus’ three buildings by Aarne Ervi are formed around the main square. The buildings’ primary elevation material is ceramic tile. The main building is on the east side of the square, and the main library “Feeniks” is located on the west side of the square. The library’s spacious reading hall opens towards the Turku Cathedral from the window walls. One of the original details of the interiors is the curved stairway from the ground floor to upper floors, typical for Ervi’s interior design.

The monumental “Tiedonportaat” stairs lead to the hill from the Turku Cathedral’s surrounding blocks. Aarne Ervi’s office was along with the Aalto office the most important university designers in post-war Finland.

Location

Vesilinnantie 5, Turku
60.45450753, 22.28469362

Images

Main library's east elevation, University of Turku Main Campus
Main library's east elevation, University of Turku Main Campus (© Wikimedia Commons)
Main square, University of Turku Main Campus
Main square, University of Turku Main Campus (© Samuli Lintula / Wikimedia commons)
Main square, University of Turku Main Campus
Main square, University of Turku Main Campus (© Johan Jönsson / Wikimedia Commons)
View towards Turku Cathedral, University of Turku Main Campus
View towards Turku Cathedral, University of Turku Main Campus (© Ingervo / MFA)
Main building, west elevation, University of Turku Main Campus
Main building, west elevation, University of Turku Main Campus (© Ingervo / MFA)
Library, east elevation, University of Turku Main Campus
Library, east elevation, University of Turku Main Campus (© Ingervo / MFA)
Natural sciences building, south elevation, University of Turku Main Campus
Natural sciences building, south elevation, University of Turku Main Campus (© Ingervo / MFA)
Passageway between the main building and natural sciences building, University of Turku Main Campus
Passageway between the main building and natural sciences building, University of Turku Main Campus (© Ingervo / MFA)
View from the west, University of Turku Main Campus
View from the west, University of Turku Main Campus (© Ingervo / MFA)
Site plan, University of Turku Main Campus
Site plan, University of Turku Main Campus (© Aarne Ervi / MFA)
Section plan, University of Turku Main Campus
Section plan, University of Turku Main Campus (© Aarne Ervi / MFA)
Ground floor plans, University of Turku Main Campus
Ground floor plans, University of Turku Main Campus (© Aarne Ervi / MFA)
Natural sciences building, ground floor, University of Turku Main Campus
Natural sciences building, ground floor, University of Turku Main Campus (© Aarne Ervi / MFA)
Main building, ground floor, University of Turku Main Campus
Main building, ground floor, University of Turku Main Campus (© Aarne Ervi / MFA)
Library, ground floor, University of Turku Main Campus
Library, ground floor, University of Turku Main Campus (© Aarne Ervi / MFA)

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