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21.09.2020

House of Jyvaskyla workers

House of Jyväskylä workers is located in the center of Jyväskylä, on Kaupakatu Street. The building, built in 1925, was designed by architect Alvar Aalto and is considered one of the most significant representatives of classicism in Finland in the 1920s. Ballroom Työväentalo now serves as a venue for concerts and conferences called Aalto Hall.

Jyväskylä Workers' Union decided to build a new working house at its 35th anniversary meeting in 1923 and ordered drawings from Alvar Aalto a year later. The company Suomen Rakennusosakeyhtiö from Helsinki was chosen as the contractor. The building, opened in September 1925, is the first stone building of Aalto in Jyväskylä. It was also his first major public building design project. The design of the working house on the corner of Kauppakatu and Väinönkatu streets is based on Italian Renaissance architecture... Aino and Alvar Aalto went on a wedding journey in the village in 1924, when construction work was still going on. Returning from the trip, Aalto changed the plans for the interior decoration of the working house. The interior of the building, which Aalto designed with his newlywed wife Aino Marcio, a lot of details. Some drawings are also signed by his name.

Each facade of the working house is designed as a separate object, with its own symmetrical compositions. On the first floor there was a round restaurant space in the form of an atrium, as well as the premises of the Workers' Association. Ballroom, decorated for the workers' theater of Jyväskylä, was located on the second floor, which is a complex system of stairs designed by Aalto. The semicircular shape of the lower restaurant is repeated in the foyer of the second floor. Building's luminaires were designed by Aalto's spouses. 

Today, the House of Jyväskylä workers survived almost in its original form. In 1960, the theater hall was rented to the city theater Jyväskylä, which built a new cool auditorium. Its original appearance was restored after the city theater was moved from the building in 1982. The outer walls of the office building were restored in 1997, and the last internal reconstruction was completed in 2008. Today the office building, built in 1955, and the residential building, built in 1999, belong to the Jyväskylä Workers' Association.

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