by Vanna Villa

Jyväskylä Workers’ Club was designed 1924 for the Jyväskylä workers’ association and erected that and the following year; this building marked Aalto’s breakthrough.


The earliest sketches show a large, colonnaded forecourt which was not built. The largely windowless upper floor contained an auditorium used for political assemblies and as a theatre with stage, parterre, balconies, and foyer. These facilities were used by the workers’ theatre and later by the city theatre.


A monumental staircase led from the foyer down to the lower level, which was basically a glazed colonnade containing a restaurant, two café rooms, and the entrance hall to the theatre. Aino and Alvar Aalto designed the furniture, light fixtures, and fittings specially. The restaurant spaces have later been fully remodeled.

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