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The new building of ÅAU and UTU will be named Aurum

The University Properties of Finland Ltd (SYK) will build a new building for shared use between Åbo Akademi University and the University of Turku to replace the old Juslenia building at Henrikinkatu. A contest was organised from 24 May to 7 September to find a name for the new building. A total of 98 name suggestions were submitted through the contest, out of which AURUM was chosen as the name for the new building.

The aim of the contest was to find a name that would be easy to pronounce also for international members of the academic community and fit the intended use of the new building. The name was chosen by a jury consisting of representatives from both universities: Anu Aalto, Ulla Achrén, Thurid Eriksson, Carita Kvarnström, Päivi Mikkola, Anne Paasi, Tapio Salmi, Anna Sundberg, and student representatives Paavo Palanterä and Andreas Reipsar. Jessica Örn of the University Properties of Finland acted as the impartial chairman of the jury.

“A nice coincidence occurred when the same name was suggested by two people, one from Åbo Akademi University and one from the University of Turku. This also confirms that Aurum is an excellent name for the shared-use synergy building. The people who suggested the winning name will be contacted and rewarded in the coming weeks”, says Jessica Örn.

The two suggestions for the name were supported with arguments, such as:

  • “Aurum” is Latin and means “gold”. The name is fitting for a building which houses chemists and physicists.
  • Alchemists used to search for the philosophers’ stone “arcanum” (also the name of the University of Turku building housing the Department of Chemistry), which could turn metals into gold – aurum. So why not continue with the alchemy theme?
  • The name works well in Swedish, Finnish, English and other languages too.

The meeting of the jury began with a presentation on the criteria for a good name given by Paula Sjöblom, docent and expert in onomastics. The name Aurum clearly meets these criteria. The jury’s comments on the decision:

  • the people suggesting the name had good, relevant arguments
  • receiving the same suggestion both from Åbo Akademi and the University of Turku was a nice bonus
  • the name is the same in all languages so there is no problem with different language versions or spellings
  • Aurum bears a nice resemblance to the name of the Aura River
  • “rum” means “room” in Swedish
  • it is said that “forests are the gold of Finland” and the Aurum building will have wooden surfaces.

Aurum will be completed in spring 2021 and commissioned the following autumn. The main users of the building will be the Faculty of Science and Engineering of Åbo Akademi University and the Department of Chemistry of the University of Turku. Other users include the Biodiversity Unit and the Library of the University of Turku. Aurumwill serve as a uniting building when moving from Åbo Akademi University to the University Hill (Yliopistonmäki) and is part of the Scientia Aboensis cooperation between Åbo Akademi and the University of Turku.


For additional information, please contact:

University Properties of Finland Ltd
Jessica Örn
Account manager
+358 400 910 296