Alvar Aalto - Finland
Turun Sanomat
Kauppiaskatu 5, Turku
1928 - 1930

Alvar Aalto started design work for this building, which is located in a commercial area of Turku, in January 1928. Already on June 15 the same year he signed a complete set of drawings in 1:100 scale. Reworking of the design and elaboration of detail drawings continued up to July 1929. The construction is integrated into a block of buildings. It is realized as a reinforced concrete frame structure, with expanded concrete used for the exterior walls. The cavernous surface of the expanded concrete was treated with protective layers.
The Turun Sanomat building was conceived as multipurpose building with a huge variety of different usages. There were printing works and rotary presses in the basement, rental shop facilities on street level, a typesetting room and newspaper office on the first floor, editorial offices on the second floor, nine apartments on the third floor, a 29-room hotel on the fourth floor, and finally on the top floor a process engraving works on the courtyard side and a luxury flat with a roof terrace overlooking the street. Two important and recurrant elements made their first appearance in this building: the round large-sized skylights at the back of the basement and the asymmetrical, 'organic' capitals of the columns in the printing works. Surprisingly the drawings for these 'organic' capitals are not among the 226 detail plans in the Aalto archives. The building was completed in spring 1930. Since the war it has undergone extensive renovations which have seriously disturbed the facade and the interiors, though the main staircase remained intact.