Friday, March 18, 2011

(My) Life designed by Alvar Aalto

Site No. 15: The University of Jyväskylä (Former Institute of Pedagogics)

Today I will present the biggest Aalto site in Jyväskylä - the maincampus of the University of Jyväskylä. The site located at Seminaarinkatu 15 consists of six different buildings which were build between 1952 and 1971. This six are: The Main Building (1954-56), The Teaching Practice School and Gymnasium (1952-54), The Philologica - The Former Student Dormitory combined with the Students' Cafeteria "Lozzi" (1952-54), The Staff Meeting Hall "Lyhty", The Swimming Hall "Aalto Alvari" (1954-64 with extensions in the 70s and 80s) as well as the Building for The Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences (1971).

Still doing my Master's at the University of Jyväskylä I am basically using almost all this buildings on a daily base. Working on my thesis in the "Aalto Libary" which is located in The Main Building, sitting on chairs and working on a table designed by Alvar Aalto. Having lunch in the Students' Cafeteria "Lozzi" whichs interiour was designed by Alvar Aalto in the 1950s and is still in use. Crossing the big entrance hall of The Main Building on the way to my lecture which takes place in The Teaching Practice School and going to swim to the "Aalto Alvari" Swimming Hall in the afternoon. Alvar Aaltos architecture is indeed part of my life and I enjoy it every day!

The Main Building of the University of Jyväskylä (1954-56)

Pictures from the main entrance of The Main Building as seen when approaching the University coming from downtown Jyväskylä. For me it is hard to belief that this building was designed in the early 1950s, in my opinion it looks much modern.

Here are now some pictures from the back of the main building. Many people are wondering why Aalto didn't place any windows on this side of the building. I had once the chance to take part in a guided tour around our Universities campus and the guide told us that Alvar Aalto basically wanted separate the University for downtown Jyväskylä, keeping it as a world of its own. Aalto expressed this idea by building this windowless wall.

Here are now some impressions from the entrance hall of The Main Building. Inside The Main Building a auditorium with over 700 seats can be found whose acoustics is by the way really resounding.

Finally some pictures from the "Aalto Libary" were I am currently spending many hours every day working on my final thesis, I almost could call it my second home :-)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä (3)

Site No. 13: Aira Apartment House Railway Workers' Building (1924-26)

My journey through Alvar Aaltos Jyväskylä continued and this time I visited one of Aaltos first works the Aira Apartment House he designed for Railway Workers in the early 1920s. The site was a bit difficult to find because due to arrival the building didn't seem any special to me. Finally when I found Alvar Aaltos signature on the wall of the building I could be sure that the adress I got was correct. The Aira Apartment House is located in Jyväskyläs city centre at Tapionkatu 2.

Site No. 14: Viitatorni High-Rise Apartment House (1960-61)

As I laid my focuse this time on apartment houses designed by Alvar Aalto I had the same day also a look on the famous Viitatorni Apartment House know by everyone here in Jyväskylä as the Viitatorni. This 13 stories building, by the way one of the highest building in Jyväskylä anyhow, was build in the early 1960s. Located at Viitaniemientie 16 this building seems first when coming from downtown Jyväskylä like any other apartment house. Nevertheless the impression totally changes when one is approaching the front of the building as displayed by the pictures below.

During a further visit in summer 2014 I was finally able to also get a brief view of the inside of Viitatorni. One of the residents were so friendly to open the front door for me so that I could at least enter the lobby of the building. The lobby seen in the pictures below contains mainly the staircase and access to the elevators.

For more pictures on Viitatorni visit also here

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä (2)

Hi there!

Sorry for my long absence but my extended christmas holiday in Germany as well as the cold weather here in Finland have kept me from visiting more Alvar Aalto sites.

In the end of the January I visited the Administrative and Cultural Centre of Jyväskylä for a second time. During my first visit in November I hadn't paid so much attention to the fact that the centre consists of three different parts namely the Jyväkylä Theatre, the former Police Headquarters as well as the City Offices. While I have presented the Theatre and showed also pictures from the former Police Headquarters I left out the City Offices which I will now present today.

The City Offices of Jyväskylä were build in the years 1975-78 and are located in Hannikaisenkatu 17. Below some pictures from the City Offices and further impressions from the Cultural Centre of Jyväskylä.