Saynatsalo Center Introduction (01:57)
Alvar Aalto built the Finnish community space between 1949 and 1952. A modern architecture pioneer, he is famous for the Paimio Sanatorium and the Viipuri Library.
Saynatsalo Center Layout (03:06)
Inspired by Italian Renaissance hillside towns, Aalto incorporated a raised courtyard and irregular building wings to evoke an urban landscape.
Saynatsalo Center Materials (01:20)
Hear Aalto's reflection on a building's social role. He used brick, rejected by modern architects in favor of concrete.
Saynatsalo Town Hall (02:01)
Civic offices, shops, and a library occupy the structure. Aalto used brick and the tower height to assert civic architecture.
Saynatsalo Architectural Innovation (01:32)
Aalto created butterfly trusses for the council chamber ceiling, demonstrating his knowledge of carpentry and engineering.
Town Hall Detail (02:01)
Classroom style tables facilitate the Saynatsalo council decision making. Wooden shutters provide half-light.
Saynatsalo Center Lighting (01:20)
The tower belies the council chamber's simplicity. Aalto's interior lighting designs create an opaque effect.
Saynatsalo Center Library (00:48)
In contrast to the council chamber, the library has a transparent facade and open plan.
Aalto's Values (01:07)
Design diversity enriches the Saynatsalo building. The architect destroyed a bank sign mounted on its façade that he found offensive to democracy.
Saynatsalo Town Plan (01:46)
Aalto placed his community center in a triangular public space opposite an industrial building. The forested area remains.
Saynatsalo Landscape (01:06)
Aalto considered nature and buildings inseparable. Community center design elements evoke forests and lakes.
Saynatsalo Public Space (00:60)
Covered passageways provide access to town hall rooms. Aalto built heat systems into benches.
Design Details (00:52)
Aalto created furniture and door handles for the Saynatsalo Center.
"Experimental House" (03:08)
Aalto designed a summer home on Muuratsalo. Saynatsalo Center inspiration includes an open tower atrium and creative brickwork.
Finnish National Architect (01:10)
Aalto became an institution and was criticized for Helsinki designs late in life. The Saynatsalo Center proves his talent at civic architecture.
Credits: The Municipal Centre of Saynatsalo: Architectures—Achievements in Modern Architecture (01:16)
Credits: The Municipal Centre of Saynatsalo: Architectures—Achievements in Modern Architecture
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