The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Renaissance Palace and Defensive Citadel on View at Alvar Aalto Museum
The Jyväskylä Defence Corps Building 1926-29. Cinema in 1930´s. Photo: Valokuvaamo Päijänne /Alvar Aalto Museum, photo archive.

LONDON.- The Gallery’s 2008 summer exhibition presents two buildings from Alvar Aalto’s early production, both of which were originally designed as club houses. The Jyväskylä Workers’ Club and the Defence Corps building were among the few masonry buildings in the small town dominated by wooden buildings. When designing these two buildings, the young architect Aalto followed the prevailing architectural trend of the time, the Nordic Classicism of the 1920s. The design of the Workers’ Club theatre and office building was influenced by Italian Renaissance palaces. However, the Defence Corps building, completed at the end of the 1920s, already heralded a new trend. The building history of these important milestones in Aalto’s architecture is presented in the exhibition through original drawings and photographs from that time. Original furniture from the buildings is also on display.

The Jyväskylä Workers’ Club, 1924-25
The Jyväskylä Workers’ Association commissioned Aalto to design their headquarters in 1924. Aalto, who had then recently established his first architect’s office in the town, took on the work with great enthusiasm. The result was a two-storey building situated on the corner of two streets in the centre of the town, and with a café and restaurant on the ground floor. From the street level one entered an impressive entrance hall that led upstairs to the auditorium floor comprising a theatre space and foyer. In the basement floor spaces were reserved for, among other things, a kitchen, storage and washing and toilet facilities. Aalto also designed the lamps for the building as well as the decorative paintings and part of the furniture.

The form language of the Workers’ Club stems from Italian Renaissance architecture. The colour scheme is typical of Nordic Classicism. Aino and Alvar’s honeymoon trip to Italy in 1924 presumably influenced the design of the interior. The trip was undertaken when the construction was still in progress, and when the couple returned part of the plans for the interior design was changed. As the work progressed, the original plans were simplified, as were the decorative motifs. The Jyväskylä Workers’ Club was completed in 1925.

The cafe and restaurant in the building have undergone many changes over the years and nothing of the original interior remains. Also the auditorium spaces have over the decades been renewed in accordance with the taste preferences of the time. The building came under the protection of building protection legislation in 1986. The facades and main entrance of the building were renovated in 1997. In the most recent renovation, completed in March 2008, the entrance hall, foyer and auditorium were returned to a state close to the original. Some of the painted decorations uncovered in the renovation work were restored to their former glory. Also two lamp wall brackets were restored in accordance with older models. The building, which is still owned by the Workers’ Association, and which in 2008 celebrates its 120th anniversary, functions as a venue for festive occasions and meetings.

Jyväskylä Defence Corps building, 1926-29
The Jyväskylä Defence Corps building was built in order to solve the long-term space shortage of the local defence corps. An open architectural competition for the unusually large design task was announced in March 1926. The young architect Aalto won the two-stage competition with his proposal titled ‘Intra Muros’ and thus received the design commission. The so-called Suoja-talo [Suoja House], completed three years later, was a multipurpose building. The extensive room programme originated from the needs of the defence corps, but there was also an incentive to make the building financially viable by renting out commercial premises. A variety of different activities were housed in the simple external envelope. In addition to office, training and hostel facilities, the building offered space for a cinema, auditorium, restaurant, bank and the first market hall in the town. For the purpose of military training, the building even housed a small-bore rifle range. In the low wing building there was a gunsmith and supplies storage.

The Defence Corps Building, completed in 1929, is one of the few buildings in Finland belonging to the last stages of Nordic Classicism while also heralding the beginnings of Functionalism. The treatment of the spaces and the interior design solutions were already somewhat rational and indicated the turning point towards Modernism in Alvar Aalto’s architecture at that time. The innovations in the new architecture – Poul Henningsen’s standard lamps, the Bauhaus-inspired lettering in the advertising, opaque glass and shiny nickel – had been adopted from the continental pioneers of Functionalism.

As a result of the worldwide economic recession, the building came already in 1934 under state ownership. Since then, the building – known from that point onwards also as the State House – has undergone continuous change. The original room subdivision has been almost completely destroyed and building on the courtyard side as well as the renewal of the windows has changed the appearance of the facades. Foundation excavations when constructing new neighbouring buildings have caused serious damage also to the structure of the building. The repair and renovation of the Defence Corps building has become a topical issue as it is in the process of changing ownership. The future owner, a private building company, is obliged to repair the structural damages and return the street facade and the auditorium spaces to their original state as set out by the 1999 decree protecting the building and a proposal put forward by the National Board of Antiquities.

Today's News

June 13, 2008

Art Institute of Chicago Inaugurates Dedicated New Galleries for Prints and Drawings

Sotheby's to Offer Untitled (Pecho/Oreja) by Jean-Michel Basquiat on Behalf of the Members of U2

Thieves Steal Picasso Engravings from Brazilian Museum

Modernist Landscape Paintings of New Mexico Shed Light on Complex Career of Great American Artist

SFMOMA Presents Highlights of Frida Kahlo's Self-Portraits

British Contemporary Art from the Chaney Family Collection Showcases Provocative Work

First Major Gilbert & George Retrospective Arrives at The Milwaukee Art Museum

Sidney Nolan: A New Retrospective at Queensland Art Gallery

Renaissance Palace and Defensive Citadel on View at Alvar Aalto Museum

Contemporary Northwest Art Awards to Open at The Portland Art Museum

BP Portrait Award 2008 Goes on View at The National Portrait Gallery in the UK

Gifts to the La Salle University Art Museum from the Collections of Lady Radzinowicz and William J. Henrich on View

Yoshitomo Nara + graf Present A to Z Project Installation at Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art

Rong Rong & inri: The Power of Ruins. Between Destruction and Construction at Casa Asia

Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art To Present Mona Hatoum

Judy Lowry's Cube on View at The Burlington Art Centre

Philadelphia Collectors Share Art in Philadelphia Collects: Works on Paper at Delaware Center

Department of Cultural Affairs Presents LA River Paintings and Photographs at The City Hall Bridge Gallery

Art Museum of Western Virginia Changes its Name and Presents New Logo

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Boy and an amateur archaeologist unearth legendary Danish king's trove in Germany

2.- Exhibition at The Met illustrates what visitors encountered at The palace of Versailles

3.- Philadelphia Museum of Art opens "Modern Times: American Art 1910-1950"

4.- Exhibition at Michael Hoppen Gallery presents a cross-section of works from Thomas Mailaender's career

5.- New York's Chelsea Hotel celebrity door auction raises $400,000

6.- Stevie Ray Vaughan's first guitar drives Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Auction to nearly $2.9 million

7.- Lichtenstein's Nude with Blue Hair tops $2.4 million sale of Modern & Contemporary Prints & Multiples

8.- $6.7 million Fancy Intense Blue Diamond sets auction record at Sotheby's New York

9.- Mexico court blocks sales of controversial Frida Kahlo Barbie doll

10.- Dutch museums to conduct new research on the paintings of Pieter de Hooch

Related Stories

Important Judaica and Israeli & international art bring a combined $7.9 million at Sotheby's New York

Tunisia to auction ousted despot's treasures

Andy Warhol's Mao portraits excluded from the Beijing and Shanghai shows next year

China criticises French Qing dynasty seal auction

Christie's announces auction marking the first half century of the popular and luxurious interiors shop Guinevere

Nine new exhibits debut at San Diego International Airport

Rembrandt masterpiece "Portrait of Catrina Hooghsaet" back on display at National Museum Cardiff

Amber: 40-million-year-old fossilised tree resin is Baltic gold

Egyptian artist Iman Issa wins the Ist FHN Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona Award

The main chapel of the Basilica of Santa Croce open for visits after five year restoration

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful