Viipuri Library
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Architect Alvar Aalto
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Location Vyborg, USSR
Date 1927 to 1935   timeline
Building Type library
 Construction System stone cladding and stucco
Climate cold
Context urban, park setting
Style Modern
Notes undulating ceiling in auditorium.




Plan Drawing

Plan Drawing



Discussion Viipuri Library Commentary

"The competition project with which Aalto won the competition for this library in 1927 was heavily indebted to [Erik Gunnar Asplund]'s Stockholm Library scheme...During the development of the design, the site was changed from being beside a main road to being within a park, a change which allowed Aalto to open up the building to light on all sides. The walls of the building contain a forced-air ventilation system, which confirms Aalto's concern for technical matters, already established at Paimio."

—David Dunster, ed. Architectural Monographs 4: Alvar Aalto. p33.


Competition 1927. Successive redesigns. Eventually built, 1930 to 1935.

Viipuri was a small city of 90,000 when the library was built. Later this part of Finland was absorbed by the Soviet Union.

Aalto won first prize in the competition of 1927, and the library was built 1930 to 1935.

Thirty-inch thick exterior walls contain ventilation ducts and mechanical piping, and radiant heating is provided with hot-water pipes.

Six-foot diameter round, conical skylightsreflect incoming sunlight to produce a shadow-free, diffuse light. Artificial light was designed to provide the same diffuse, shadowless light.

Sources on Viipuri Library

David Dunster, ed. Alvar Aalto. London: St. Martin's Press, 1978. ISBN 0-312-02150-X. p33-36.

Karl Fleig. Alvar Aalto, Volume 1. Scarsdale: Wittenborn, 1963. NA1455.F53A22. p44-55.

Karl Fleig. Alvar Aalto. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1975. NA 1455.F53A239. ISBN 0-275-49660-0. p97-100.

Malcolm Quantrill. Alvar Aalto: A Critical Study. New York: Schocken Books, 1983. ISBN 0-8052-3845-X. NA1455.F53A237. p59-63.

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at  Find books about Viipuri Library


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