Alvar Aalto - Finland
Jyväskylä Workers Club
Väinönkatu 7, Jyväskylä
1924 - 1925

The design for the Jyväskylä Workers' Club marked the breakthrough of Alvar Aalto as an architect. He elaborated the design in 1924, and the building for the Jyväskylä worker's association was errected that and the following year. Early drawings by Alvar Aalto show a large, colonnaded forecourt which was not built. The upper floor is only sparsely fenestrated and originally contained an auditorium used for political assemblies as well as a theater with stage, parterre, balconies and foyer. These spaces were used by the workers' theater and later also by the city theater. An important feature was a monumental staircase leading from the foyer down to the lower level, where were housed a restaurant, two cafe rooms and the entrance hall to the theater. The ground floor appears as a glazed colonnade towards the street. Already in this building, Alvar Aalto designed not only the building, but also the furniture, light fixtures and fittings. In the 1970s the theatre moved out, while the restaurant and the cafes were converted into shops. The steady degradation of the building was halted, when the theatre has been restored as a meeting hall and the old cafe rooms were rented by a restaurant.