A new book on Alvar Aalto Libraries will be presented in Freespace of Libraries seminar at Arsenale’s Teatro alle Tese, Venice on 21 November

The Finnish Pavilion’s seminar “Freespace of Libraries” is organised within the general “Meetings on Architecture” programme, organised by La Biennale di Venezia and curated by Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara. Finland’s Mind-Building exhibition produced by Archinfo Finland explores the development of Finnish library architecture. The seminar will be concluded with launching the book Alvar Aalto Libraries. The book published by Rakennustieto Publishing will be presented by its authors Sirkkaliisa and Jari Jetsonen.

Alvar Aalto Libraries presents all nineteen of Alvar Aalto’s completed libraries as well as the Academic Bookstore in Helsinki. Chronologically, the completed buildings range from Viipuri Library in the 1930s to Alajärvi Library in the 1990s, which was built after Aalto’s death. Aalto’s libraries have served various needs, for instance, as part of larger administrative, institutional or cultural centres. A significant group is the public libraries, such as those in Seinäjoki, Rovaniemi and Wolfsburg. Another significant group, which includes the libraries at the University of Jyväskylä, Aalto University and the Mount Angel monastery, are his scholarly libraries. The libraries in Aalto-designed private houses, such as Villa Mairea and Maison Louis Carré, offered their owners a tranquil work environment. In addition to describing how the buildings first came about, the book also describes the changes in use that the libraries have undergone over the decades.

Jari Jetsonen’s colour photos – most of them taken especially for this book – and Aalto’s original drawings, reveal the dramatic, yet intimate, atmosphere of each library. Sirkkaliisa Jetsonen’s presentations for each of the libraries and her short description of Aalto’s “library landscapes” is complemented by Teija Isohauta’s essay on Aalto’s unrealised library projects. The foreword to the book has been written by distinguished British architecture historian Professor Kenneth Frampton.  

Alvar Aalto Libraries

Sirkkaliisa Jetsonen: texts
Jari Jetsonen: photographs
Teija Isohauta: intoductionary article
Publisher: Rakennustieto Publishing, 2018
280 pages | 300 photographs and drawings | size 216 mm × 288 mm, hard cover | 66 € (incl. VAT)
ISBN 978-952-267-252-0

Press copies and photographs: Kristiina Bergholm, tel. +358 40-824 0765

Images of the cover and openings can be obtained from the following link:

Rakennustieto Publishing

Rakennustieto Publishing is the leading publisher and world-wide distributor in the field of architecture in Finland. We publish books in English for the international market, with a special emphasis on Finnish architects and Finnish design.

Rakennustieto Publishing is part of the Rakennustieto Group, which is owned by an independent foundation. Our aim is to promote good building and property management practices. In addition to our books on architecture in English, we also publish books in Finnish in the field of building construction for both professionals and those building their own home.