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  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. University
  4. Finland
  5. Alvar Aalto
  6. 1959
  7. AD Classics: Jyvaskyla University / Alvar Aalto

AD Classics: Jyvaskyla University / Alvar Aalto

AD Classics: Jyvaskyla University / Alvar Aalto
AD Classics: Jyvaskyla University / Alvar Aalto, © Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

© Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh Courtesy of alvar aalto architects Courtesy of alvar aalto architects +24

  • Architects

  • Location

    Jyvaskyla, Finland
  • Architect

    Alvar Aalto
  • Drawings

    Alvar Aalto's Architecture
  • References

    MIMOA, Lukkarinen
  • Project Year

    1959
  • Photographs

From the architect. After entering a general planning competition at the end of May 1951 for the Jyvaskyla Institute of Pedagogics, Alvar Aalto was immediately commissioned to begin working on the plans of each of the individual buildings that were to be added amidst existing complex. He was awarded first prize with his entry 'Urbs', which is reminiscent of some of his previous projects. The U pattern formed by the buildings frames the open center space, where a sports field is accessible by foot.

© Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

Construction of the training college for teachers began in 1953, in a ridge of pine trees close to the center of town. Known for the incorporation of beautiful views of nature in his architecture, Aalto designed a complex of buildings atop the varied terrain which he found familiar after spending his childhood and schooling in a similar environment.

Courtesy of alvar aalto architects
Courtesy of alvar aalto architects

The main building is comprised of a fan-shaped auditorium, a three-story rectangular wing filled with classrooms, and a wing for the laboratory, all of which are connected by a hall containing a Venetian inspired staircase. 

© Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

Aalto's emphasis on materiality and the combination of white walls with wood, brick and glass is fundamentally present in all of these buildings, particularly the main building. Also ephasized are the views of nature from inside the building; Aalto uses high glass panes to almost seamlessly blend together the interior with the surrounding environment.

© Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

The Jyvaskyla University Library was one of the many buildings Aalto designed in the winning competition entry. These become part of the existing landscape that Aalto was very keen on including; the earlier campus was built in the middle of the teaching garden and arboretum of the 1890s. The library is two stories high with a flat roof, almost completely windowless. This allowed light to only come in through the long clerestory windows and six barrel skylights along the top of the roof.

© Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

As he would also do in the designing of Villa Mairea, Aalto is very interested in the dichotomy of rigid and rectangular with curvilinear, as can be seen in some of the interior photographs. Another classic Aalto feature is the stairwell, which is enclosed by a gathering of pine that closely resembles a deeply wooded forrest in the surrounding context.

© Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

A list of the buildings in the campus area designed by Alvar Aalto include the Staff housing (now the Jvaskyla University Museum), Student's Hall of Residence 1952-54 (now the languages department), Lozzy and Lyhty staff and student refectories, Main Building 1954-56, Swimming Pool 1954-58, Physical Education building 1971, Library 1957. Initially built for teacher training, the college of education became a university in 1966.

© Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: Megan Sveiven. "AD Classics: Jyvaskyla University / Alvar Aalto" 01 Feb 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/203608/ad-classics-jyvaskyla-university-alvar-aalto/>
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19 Comments

Jordi Noguera · April 04, 2012

AD Classics: Jyvaskyla University / Alvar Aalto http://t.co/Ci3AQsd4 vía @archdaily

Farid Najib · February 21, 2012

this should be in AD Classics for sure

Marco · February 05, 2012

The Alvar #Aalto Jyvaskyla #University. http://t.co/OCHtr3st Why don&#39t RT it?

Mariano Castillo · February 03, 2012
Jarodrigo · February 03, 2012

AD Classics: Jyvaskyla University / Alvar Aalto http://t.co/G850Amkk #architecture

Santi Maggio Savasta · February 03, 2012

Jyvaskyla University / Alvar Aalto http://t.co/1qfiM000 #Architecture #Architettura

ArchitectureDemarest · February 03, 2012

RT @martintokyo: Stunning! AD Classics: Jyvaskyla University / Alvar Aalto http://t.co/Cq9xnhZ2 #architecture

Nicolás Saieh · February 03, 2012

AD Classics: Jyvaskyla University / Alvar Aalto http://t.co/vLCQXlyb via @archdaily

godryk · February 02, 2012

Amazing. Without this guy, half of the projects featured in this site would have never existed...

Xander · February 02, 2012 11:23 PM

So right man....that staircase with the sky-lights...is genious! god bless modernist architecture!

Giulia Cavallini · February 02, 2012

AD Classics: Jyvaskyla University / Alvar Aalto http://t.co/G850Amkk #architecture

watabetakahiro · February 02, 2012

AD Classics: Jyvaskyla University / Alvar Aalto http://t.co/4icAq0F8

doekaran* · February 02, 2012

AD Classics: Jyvaskyla University / Alvar Aalto http://t.co/G850Amkk #architecture

Juan Luis Morales Z. · February 02, 2012

amo el ladrillo http://t.co/O51sUGLs

Luis E Alonzo · February 02, 2012

AD Classics: Jyvaskyla University / Alvar Aalto http://t.co/G850Amkk #architecture

Hair Eguiluz Ricalde · February 02, 2012

Tuve un proyecto con un muro de 7m y el Arq. me dijo que la persona se iba a sentirse pequeñísima, ¿y esto?
http://t.co/Au7kWHuV

Doug Wittnebel · February 02, 2012

AD Classics: Jyvaskyla University / Alvar Aalto http://t.co/4prklS7K

him + her · February 02, 2012

Architecture AD Classics: Jyvaskyla University / Alvar Aalto: After entering a general planning co... http://t.co/SoWirH1J #architecture

GR2TF · February 02, 2012

AD Classics: Jyvaskyla University / Alvar Aalto: © Nico Saieh
After entering a general planning competition at t... http://t.co/h5NzjmoR

Sigit Kusumawijaya · February 02, 2012

[Architecture Info] AD Classics: Jyvaskyla University / Alvar Aalto http://t.co/3jOGqrYj | via #ArchDaily

···

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© Nico Saieh

AD 经典:于韦斯屈莱大学 / Alvar Aalto