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Church in Vouksenniska
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Architect Alvar Aalto
Location Imatra, Finland
Date 1956 to 1958   timeline
Building Type church
Climate cold
Style Modern
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Discussion Church in Vouksenniska Commentary

“Aalto’s first major church design of his mature period was the commission in 1956 for Vuoksenniska in Imatra, eastern Finland. In this project, built between 1957 and 1959, he followed the new plastic expressionism which had been created in the design for the House of Culture, Helsinki (begun in 1955). The asymmetrical auditorium for the House of Culture becomes in the Imatra church a three-part shell form, also slightly asymmetrical, that allows the building to accommodate three different sizes of congregation. One third or two thirds of the church may be closed off by ‘sliding walls’, housed in the corresponding curved enclosures on the right hand side of the nave, that form the external walls. The ceiling is also shaped in the form of three distinct ‘shells’, developing a progressive undulation from altar to rear organ-loft that is reminiscent of the innovatory design for the Viipuri lecture room ceiling.”

— Malcolm Quantrill. Alvar Aalto: a Critical Study. p198.

DetailsThe church was designed in 1956 and built 1957 to 1959.

Partitions are used to separate the three main parts of the church: with the partitions in position, the church can seat a congregation of 290 and when they are removed, 800 people can be accommodated.

Resources
Sources on Church in Vouksenniska

Francis D. K. Ching. Architecture: Form, Space, and Order. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1979. ISBN 0-442-21535-5. section drawing, p41.

Roger H. Clark and Michael Pause. Precedents in Architecture. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1985. ISBN 0-442-21668-8. LC 84-3543. NA2750.C55 1984. drawings and diagrams, p10-11. — Updated edition available at Amazon.com

Dennis Sharp. Twentieth Century Architecture: a Visual History. New York: Facts on File, 1990. ISBN 0-8160-2438-3. NA680.S517. exterior photo of entrance, interior photo with altar, p224.

Karl Fleig. Alvar Aalto. Scarsdale: Wittenborn, 1963, Vol.I. NA1455.F53A22. p218.

Karl Fleig. Alvar Aalto. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1975. NA 1455.F53A239. ISBN 0-275-49660-0. p163.

Malcolm Quantrill. Alvar Aalto: A Critical Study. New York: Schocken Books, 1983. ISBN 0-8052-3845-X. NA1455.F53A237. p198-200.

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