Alvar Aalto - Finland
Seinšjoki Library
Koulukatu 21, Seinšjoki

1960 - 1965


The Seinšjoki Library was part of the winning competition entry for the town centre by Alvar Aalto. The building is located opposite to the town hall, together flanking the citzens' square, which ends with the theatre to the west. The first drawings by Alvar Aalto were made for the competition proposal and imagine a rectangular building with a fan-shaped auditorium at one end and a wedge-shaped storeroom for books along the south side. The final plans by Alvar Aalto were elaborated from 1960 to 1965, completely altering the design of the library. Main feature of the Seinšjoki Library is an asymmetrical, fan-shaped lending and stack room. This raised and wing-shaped volume breaks out of the south end of the longish and rectangular building. At the centre of this fan-like volume is located the lending and control desk and a small `book pit`with stacks and reading tables. Supported by a round colonnade, which surrounds the lending counter, the ceiling arches up towords the high window front of the south facade. On the outside a series of horizontal screens is positioned in front of the window front, filtering the sunlight. All other spaces have strip windows superimposed with vertical trelliswork painted white. The Library contains a childrens's section, a reference section with study desks, conference rooms and offices, all separated from the main room. The entrance area and the corridor is lit by round skylights. Further more the basement contains the archives and a garage for mobile library which allows to distribute books to the rural areas in the neighbourhod. The building is mainly whitewashed with a base made of dark granite. The windows, hidden behind the mentioned trelliswork, are made of wood, while the roof is clad with sheet copper.