The 2014 World Monuments Fund/Knoll Modernism Prize has been awarded to the Finnish Committee for the restoration of Alvar Aalto’s seminal Viipuri Library in Vyborg, Russia. “Designed by Aalto and constructed between 1927 and 1935 in what was then the Finnish city of Viipuri,” stated WMF in a press release, “the library reflects the emergence of Aalto’s distinctive combination of organic form and materials with the principles of clear functionalist expression that was to become the hallmark of his architecture.”
A quote from Barry Bergdoll and more images, after the break.
“An icon of twentieth-century architecture—with its distinctive sky-lighted roof, undulating wood-slatted lecture hall ceiling, and glass façade-enclosed staircase—the library at Viipuri is one of Aalto’s most important buildings from the years in which he was adventurously exploring a new modernist vocabulary; indeed, photographs of the building soon made him known around the world,” stated jury chairman Barry Bergdoll.
“The restoration organized and executed an impressive international campaign that has ensured the survival and revival of Aalto’s masterpiece by restoring it to its original function as a vibrant municipal library.”
The restoration took two decades and was a collaboration between the Finnish and Russian national and regional governments.
The Finnish Committee will be presented the biennial award at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City on December 1, 2014. This will be followed by a free public lecture by the members of the prize-winning team.
News via WMF.