• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

From Syntsalo Town Hall to Finlandia Hall Alvar Aaltos Space of Humanism

Extracts from this document...


Jonathan Boyle 0510276 From Säynätsalo Town Hall to Finlandia Hall: Alvar Aalto’s Space of Humanism Finnish architect Alvar Aalto was famous for his meticulous manipulation of space concerning human scale and spatial experience, which I would like to call humanism. One typical aspect of his humanism is his regionalism. (Schildt and Aalto 1998, 8-9) Combining modern method of dealing with the space and Finnish local condition and culture, he managed to develop a humanist solution which satisfied local residents both functionally and spiritually. Here I would like to take two of his works that were finished in different period of his career and discuss how he blended the idea of humanism into his work and how he developed humanist solution throughout his career. One example is the Town Hall located in Säynätsalo, a small city in central Finland. [Fig.1] This building was designed during a competition in 1949 and completed in 1951. Primarily the building intended to be a municipal office. While Aalto transformed it into a complex which included residential and commercial space apart from municipality. (Schildt and Aalto 1998, 74-81) The other example is the Finlandia Hall built in Helsinki during 1967 to 1971 which was about 20 years later after the completion of Säynätsalo Town Hall. ...read more.


By inserting a courtyard in the center, he skillfully created a balance between solid and void, reducing the tension to a great extend. [Fig.4] The largest compound was subdivided as well. According to certain function of the space, the compound was divided into three main areas which were either separated by walls or linked by small entrances. This manipulation at the same time ensured that users would be movable mostly inside certain functional area without distracted by other unrelated space. (Aalto et al. 1973) Fig.4. The central courtyard and three main functional areas While for the Finlandia Hall, since it is more of a monumental architecture, it was unavoidable that the hall was built into one single large building rather than a complex of several smaller buildings. But Aalto tactfully continued the idea of dispersing the space inside the large massing. The boundary of massing defined an edge which can be regarded as a container of interior space. Inside this container Aalto dispersed concert hall, music hall and congress wing into three relatively isolated spaces. [Fig.5] Large public space which functions as traffic space simultaneously were set in between these isolated spaces as connectors. ...read more.


Typically, in Säynätsalo Town Hall, the office for municipality only occupied a corner of the complex. Council chamber which functions as a gathering space for people to discuss city affairs reached the highest point. Other spaces were spared to residential, banks, library and shops, which were all related to each citizen’s daily life. Also, we can find prototype for the central courtyard from the plaza of ancient Greek city-states. Similarly, in ________________ Finlandia Hall, the congress wing was only a small part of the building with the same height as the horizontal massing. Besides, the construction was divided into two periods with the congress wing being built later than the main hall, which also indicated the reduction of political space’s importance. Fig.11. Three main functional areas in Säynätsalo Town Hall In conclusion, Aalto has been sticking to the idea of humanism through his career. He managed to penetrate humanist solutions of space despite of different context and various problems to be solved. It was these thoughtful details based on human experience and sensations that made his buildings attractive and immortal. And in my personal view, it was his humanism that made him distinctive from other modern architects. Human-based design shall be continued and advocated today as well since architecture is made by human and in return has the goal to give human a better life. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Architecture section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Architecture essays

  1. Renewable Energy in Practice. The Energy Statement for Ashton Green Sustainable Urban Extension ...

    There are various sizes of panels but usual sizes are 2m2 or 2.55m2. The life expectancy of panels is between 25-35 years. There lot of manufacturers of solar flat plate collectors but I was able to visit and being trained by one of the biggest manufacturer in Europe - TiSUN.

  2. Public Works, Public Space.

    The City of Three Million is defined as a immense landscape of indistinguishable skyscraper monoliths that were so admired by the aggressive urban futurism of the nineteen twenties. This period of time in architecture proposed cities that were frequently rendered with an ethereal touch, they appeared to materialize from dreams.

  1. Bioclimatic architecture

    These measures can be summarized in one word: ventilation. Ventilation is the method to replace indoor air superheated by outside air, although its temperature is elevated is always lower than the indoor environment, if it has remained closed. Most appropriated ventilation is cross ventilation through holes located on different fronts, it is not necessary that they are opposed.

  2. Free essay

    Analysis of Specific Visual Spaces In South Africa

    Viljoen (2008: 178) also explains that in contradiction to the conventional way of situating an entertainment mall in such a way that its appearance attracts people, Irene village faces the highway the wrong way. It's lesser aesthetic side faces the road leaving its front and most welcoming side hidden.

  1. Review of Literature On Performing Arts Facilities, Theatres and Concert Halls

    Places of Performance: The Semiotics of Theatre Architecture Written by: Marvin Carlson * The literary presented information concerning the relation of architecture, and interior and exterior theatre embellishment to the aesthetic purposes of theatres. Used models from architectural and urban semiotics to show how a theatre building and its location within a city reflect society's attitudes and concerns.

  2. Kevin Lynch - "The Image of the City." Applying mind mapping to a ...

    I asked them to map out the route from one end of the Main street to the other end of Main street, on the way passing through the village piazza (figure 1) Figure 1: Map showing street to be mind mapped The first mind map was done by my twelve year old brother.

  1. Describe the professional and managerial workforce who may be involved in the development of ...

    There is also a direct contract with the client and the contractor; although this is an advantage it can be also seen as a disadvantage as the client does not have an alternative or another person to rely on if anything goes wrong during construction process.

  2. Research into Function and Design of Theatres.

    Often, older theatres were demolished and rebuilt to accommodate larger audiences. In the auditorium, rectangular galleries began to be replaced by horseshoe-shaped balconies that enveloped the stage and provided better viewing.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work