Town hall of Säynätsalo
The town hall of Säynätsalo is a multifunction center built by the architect Finnish Alvar Aalto in 1951. It is located at Säynätsalo, a district of Jyväskylä in Finland-Power station. It is not strictly speaking any more a town hall since the commune of Säynätsalo was attached to Jyväskylä in 1993. The complex accommodates the local council today, a library, offices governmental and residences.
The programSäynätsalo was a small village of approximately: 3000 inhabitants on a partly wooded island close to northern bank of the Lake Päijänne. The economy of the city depended mainly on the treatment plant of wood pertaining to the semi-public company Enso-Gutzeit. There viola was invited in 1943 to come to build an extension of this factory. Then the municipal team decided the construction of a center of services public including/understanding of the administrative services, of the meeting rooms, a room of the council, a public library and trade of proximity. Aalto gained the contest.
Configuration of the siteAalto benefitted from the inclined ground to lay out the various elements of the program around an elevated square internal court whose embankments are retained by the walls of the ground floor in against-low. Viola saw this small square with equal of a Roman curia , the place where the Roman senators met, but it had also at the head the Campo of His where all the citizens of the city could gather. But this type of court, well delimited while being open on outside, has also a Finnish character since the configuration with the Finnish farms is very similar. It would be then about a vernacular element of composition reactualized at the time modern, but Aalto it forever evoked.
In the beginning the buildings of the ground floor were occupied by trade and a bank but the project allowed, as envisaged, the annexation of these spaces by the services located just above. The rise in the level creates a noble stage where all the parts of the program having milked at the public services are distributed: in the south the library, north and the east administrative offices and the west apartments of function. The main entrance slips behind the imposing mass of the room of the council which dominates the south-eastern angle. The place is accessible by a staircase located beside this entry but also by turfed emmarchements located at south-west.
BuildingsThe composition of spaces, even if it can seem picturesque, rests on a great geometrical rigor, however no type-setting system under-jascent - as the equivalent of the Modulor for example - could be highlighted, and Aalto itself did not reveal its mode of design. Volumes are almost (almost!) geometrical. The court is almost square, the volume of the room of the council holds almost in a cube. Even if its initial studies and its sketches show lines of composition, in particular sets of diagonals in counterpoint of more regular screens, one can find none in the turn-key building of it. Perhaps Aalto it finally entirely went back from it in its eye to test in situ the accuracy of its composition.
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