Jyväskylä City Library
The professional opera in Finland started in 1911 and between 1918 and 1993 it was housed at the Alexander Theater, named after Tsar Alexander II. The building had been assigned to the Finnish Opera Company on a temporary basis until a new building would be erected. It wasn’t until 1933 when the first dedicated opera house in Finland was finally completed and inaugurated.
From the early 19th century onward, four different sites in Helsinki were proposed for the Opera House before settling on the final location on the shore of Töölönlahti Bay. In terms of architectural competitions, the big event of the 1970s was the two-phase open competition held in 1975–77. The winners Eero Hyvämäki, Jukka Karhunen and Risto Parkkinen laid out the complicated room programme in an “array of bars” of varying size.
It took 17 years before the building was finally completed, and with its plenitude of tiled and glassed surfaces, the overall expression primarily represents the architectural style of the 1980s.