The invitational competition for Säynätsalo Town Hall was held in 1949. Aalto won the competition with an entry marked ‘Curia’, and was immediately commissioned to prepare working drawings. Completed in 1952, the building is one of Aalto’s most admired designs.

The building has a variety of functions. Aalto laid out four two-storey wings around a square courtyard set one storey higher than its surroundings. Apartments occupy one of the wings, and commercial spaces face outward from the ground floors of two wings. The administrative and cultural facilities look inward to the quiet courtyard, one side of which is demarcated by the library wing later expanded on two floors.

The dominant element of the building is the council chamber, which soars tower-like above the complex. The main material used for the exterior as well as for the representative areas of the interior is bare red brick.

From the beginning of the building’s history, there has been two guestrooms available for booking. The rooms are named after the architect and his wife – Alvari and Elissa. Today there are also two apartments available for accommodation.

More information on Alvar Aalto Foundation website.

Location

Parviaisentie 9, Jyväskylä
62.140329, 25.769196

Images

Main facade with the library wing to the left, Säynätsalo Town Hall
Main facade with the library wing to the left, Säynätsalo Town Hall (© Martti Kapanen / Alvar Aalto Museum)
Main entrance, Säynätsalo Town Hall
Main entrance, Säynätsalo Town Hall (© Maija Holma / Alvar Aalto Museum)
Main lobby, Säynätsalo Town Hall
Main lobby, Säynätsalo Town Hall (© Maija Holma / Alvar Aalto Museum)
Office door handle, Säynätsalo Town Hall
Office door handle, Säynätsalo Town Hall (© Maija Holma / Alvar Aalto Museum)
Council chamber, Säynätsalo Town Hall
Council chamber, Säynätsalo Town Hall (© Maija Holma / Alvar Aalto Museum)
Council chamber roof beams, Säynätsalo Town Hall
Council chamber roof beams, Säynätsalo Town Hall (© Maija Holma / Alvar Aalto Museum)
Grass staircase, Säynätsalo Town Hall
Grass staircase, Säynätsalo Town Hall (© Maija Holma / Alvar Aalto Museum)
Inner courtyard, Säynätsalo Town Hall
Inner courtyard, Säynätsalo Town Hall (© Maija Holma / Alvar Aalto Museum)
One of the two guestrooms giving to the inner courtyard, Säynätsalo Town Hall
One of the two guestrooms giving to the inner courtyard, Säynätsalo Town Hall (© Maija Holma / Alvar Aalto Museum)
Library, Säynätsalo Town Hall
Library, Säynätsalo Town Hall (© Maija Holma / Alvar Aalto Museum)
Street-level commercial spaces, Säynätsalo Town Hall
Street-level commercial spaces, Säynätsalo Town Hall (© Maija Holma / Alvar Aalto Museum)
Floor plan, Säynätsalo Town Hall
Floor plan, Säynätsalo Town Hall (© Alvar Aalto Museum)
Section, Säynätsalo Town Hall
Section, Säynätsalo Town Hall (© Alvar Aalto Museum)
South elevation, Säynätsalo Town Hall
South elevation, Säynätsalo Town Hall (© Alvar Aalto Museum)
Sketches of the council chamber, Säynätsalo Town Hall
Sketches of the council chamber, Säynätsalo Town Hall (© Alvar Aalto Museum)

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