Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Seinäjoen Aaltokeskus - Aalto Center of Seinäjoki

This example of a planned administrative, cultural, and religious city center is by architect Alvar Aalto, who is known for his functionalist architectural stylings, his design items such as the Savoy vase, and for his almost impossible to use lavatory facilities and horribly uncomfortable lecure halls located in C Building at the University of Jyväskylä.

A side note concerning the aforementioned lecture halls - either Aalto forgot to include clocks in his design or perhaps he secretly hated clocks, whatever the reason, the lecture halls do not have clocks. Taking an exam without knowing how much time you have left (if you aren't a watch-wearing person) can be a real pain in the ass. Instructors have been know to bring their own clocks in on exam days. Since Aalto is the holy cow of Finnish architecture his creations are not allowed to be modified, no matter how small and insignifigant and useful that modification might happen to be.

Starting with the construction of the Lakeuden Risti (Cross of the Plain) church in 1960, the construction ended with the completion of the Teatteritalo (City Theater) in 1987. Other buildings in the group include the City Hall, the regional library, the parish center, and Valtion virastotalo (a State Office Building, home to the bureaucratic machinery necessary to keep this part of Finland running smoothly).

From left to right: The Cross of the Plain bell tower, the church itself, the parish center, the library and City Hall

The bell tower, the church, and the parish center. Aalto's original plans called for the church and the tower to be clad in black granite which apparently was too cost-inhibitive at the time of construction.

The front of City Hall.

The church and the parish center

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