Alvar Aalto - Finland
Nordic Union Bank
Fabianinkatu 29, Helsinki
1960 - 1965


Alvar Aalto started to work on the design for the administrative building of the the Nordic Union Bank in 1960. Construction of the building was carried out from 1962 to 1964. The neighbourhood of this building is mainly made of mid-19th-century buildings. Various building styles in the urban fabric were represented by the office and commercial buildings from early 20th century bordering the esplanade or the representative city centre where is to be found the market square with the large church by C.L. Engel designed in a classicist style. Alvar Aalto tried to adapt the Nordic Union Bank building to the various styles by proportions and an elaborate fašade design. The main fašade is made of bronze plates and glass. The building is part of a closed street front. The volume is stepped back toward its lower neighbour. In this area, the fašade is closed and clad with stone. On top of the building is an attic floor, vastly glazed, covered by a flat roof and offering access to a roof terrace. On the ground floor are located the lobby and the public spaces of the bank. An arcade mediates between street and the interior.