Alvar Aalto - Finland
Jyväskylä Police Headquarters
Kilpisenkatu 1, Jyväskylä
1964 - 1970

  In 1964 Alvar Aalto designed an administrative and cultural centre for the small finnish town Jyväskylä. As several finnish towns of comparable size, Jyväskylä was developed within a rectangular grid of streets. The urban plan by Alvar Aalto occupies an entire block. A new city administration, which was envisioned as an expandable building, was connected to the existing town hall. The assembley hall was imagined by Alvar Aalto as a constrasting and dominating vertical volume located on the large town square. The theatre, at this time intended as a large multifunctional hall, was also planned to be located at the town square. The town square is elevated above the existing level of a small park, emphasizing its role as a pedestrian area. The police headquarter was planned as a further component of this city block, arranged on the edge, running along a road. The urban plan for the Jyväskylä administrative and cultural centre was reworked and refined several times. The police headquarter was errected in 1970 as the first of the buildings. The first stage of the further development was realized from 1976 to 1978, but the theatre was finished only in 1982. Unhappily the assambley hall was never realized as intended.

The former Jyväskylä Police Headquarters, designed by
Alvar Aalto, represents a new attitude for this type of building. Towards the streets the complex resembles an ordinary office or administrative building instead of a law-enforcement institution. This means, that the building has a more pleasant appearance than a typical police headquarters of its time. Only the concrete protection wall, confining the vehicle court and the associated access, appears as a plastic volume towards the public park. The building which is now known as Tietotalo, is in office use today, on the ground floor is located a restaurant open to the public on weekdays.