University of Tartu opened new academic building Oecologicum

On Thursday, 3 February at 14, the University of Tartu opened a newly renovated academic and research building at J. Liivi 2 for the staff of the Department of Botany and the Department of Zoology of the Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences and the students of life sciences.

The building – Oecologicum – on Toome hill brings together the teaching staff, researchers and students of botany and zoology of the University of Tartu. A shared building has been awaited since the late 1990s. "Now, working groups that have been scattered all over Tartu can carry out their everyday work more smoothly, comfortably and in closer cooperation. Also, bachelor's and master's students will now spend most of their study time in one building instead of running around the city," said director of the institute Maarja Öpik.

Oecologicum has state-of-the-art laboratories for studying plants, animals, fungi and other organisms. There are several resting areas for students and staff, and the lobby features the largest plant wall in the Baltics, 24 metres high, with around 2,600 plants.

The building used to host the Institute of Computer Science and the Institute of Mathematics and Statistics. When they moved to the Delta Centre on the bank of Emajõgi in early 2020, the building was renovated for the Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences.

At the opening of the academic and research building, Rector Toomas Asser, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology Leho Ainsaar, Director of the Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences Maarja Öpik, 3rd-year bachelor's student of Biology and Biodiversity Conservation Katariina Kurina and Deputy Mayor of Tartu Gea Kangilaski gave a speech.

After the opening, guests could take a tour of the building.

At 16, Erki Tammiksaar gave a presentation in the large lecture hall, and guests were welcome to give a speech.

The building was designed by AS Infragate Estonia, and the draft plan was made by architects of Arhitektuuriklubi OÜ Kaido Kepp and Tõnis Taru. Interior design is by interior architect Kristiina Voolaid from Impro OÜ. The building of 5,944 m2 was constructed by AS Tartu Ehitus, and its total cost was about seven million euros.

Due to the current epidemiological situation, the opening was for invited guests only.

Photos were made by Andres Tennus.

Now, working groups that have been scattered all over Tartu can carry out their everyday work more smoothly, comfortably and in closer cooperation. Also, bachelor's and master's students will now spend most of their study time in one building instead of running around the city.

director of the institute Maarja Öpik
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