Finlandia Hall

Finlandia Hall

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Finlandia Hall

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Finlandia Hall is a concert hall with a congress wing in Helsinki, Finland, by Töölönlahti bay. The building was designed by Alvar Aalto. The work began in 1967 and was completed in 1971.

Design and building

Alvar Aalto was commissioned by the city of Helsinki to design a concert and congress building, the first constructed part of a great central city plan, which Aalto first presented in 1961, and which included a series of cultural buildings aligned along the Töölönlahti bay which penetrates the city centre. The earliest sketches show features of what were to be the main features of the final design. The principal set of blueprints for the concert hall are dated 10 May 1967. None of the other buildings in the grand scheme were ever completed.

The main features of the building's exterior are the great horizontal mass of the building proper and the towering auditorium that rises above it. The main external wall material is Carrara marble and with copper roofs, which have acquired a green patina, and teak window frames. The marble continues in the interior, and is supplemented by details in hardwoods, and ceramic. Apart from the auditorium, the main feature of the interior is the shallow and broad 'Venetian' staircase leading from the ground-floor foyer to both the main auditorium and chamber music hall.

Contemporary to the designing of the opera house in Essen, the design for Finlandia Hall shows some of the same features: asymmetricity, acoustical wall structures and...
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