'Forum redivivum' 1949
In their competition entry ‘Forum redivivum’, Aino and Alvar Aalto placed the main emphasis on a visionary town planner’s idea of endowing the Finnish capital with a new, secondary centre appropriate to a modern metropolitan lifestyle. He separated heavy traffic, automobile traffic, and pedestrian traffic onto different levels, laying out a series of large and small promenade decks, planted areas and staircases between the four or five large buildings called for in the plan.
The main building, in red brick, contains an enormous central hall running through five storeys and top-lit by 12 prism-like lanterns. On one side of the square stands a rectangular fourteen-storey rental office tower with a fenestrated facade. A third building, which Aalto called the Sibelius Concert Hall, contains an auditorium with seating for 1,900 and a large restaurant.
Photo: Scale model of the competition proposal. Leonardo Mosso, Alvar Aalto Foundation.