One of Otaniemi’s key characteristics is how the buildings are scattered within forest and greenery. When Otaniemi becomes a city, in a way, its origins should be respected. This is why the massing has been divided into several smaller clusters consisting of even smaller buildings. These buildings are kept random like most of the surrounding buildings, but with a unifying grid. The clusters have buildings of different usage, for example, housing, research, office shops, and student facilities. Within these clusters are connecting common space. These indoor courtyards could have cafés. restaurants or shops that would serve all connecting buildings.
The topography of the site is moderate and has some height differences. Because of this, ground floor levels change quite a bit. The height of the building varies quite a bit, too. The student union center building (near the relatively low Aalto library) are two floors while the highest buildings go up to six floors (of which most are housing in the other end of the plot).
Another important aspect is the difference between solid and transparent spaces for all the different functions. The courtyard and some of student union spaces would be very transparent, allowing insights into the work of the university, for example. Other spaces, like housing and projects requiring privacy, would be more solid.