The invitational competition for Säynätsalo Town Hall was held in 1949. Aalto won the competition with an entry marked ‘Curia’, and was immediately commissioned to prepare working drawings. Completed in 1952, the building is one of Aalto’s most admired designs.
The building has a variety of functions. Aalto laid out four two-storey wings around a square courtyard set one storey higher than its surroundings. Apartments occupy one of the wings; the businesses face outward from the ground floors of two wings; and the administrative and cultural facilities look inward to the quiet courtyard.
The dominant element of the building is the council chamber, which soars tower-like above the complex. The main material used for the exterior as well as for the representative areas of the interior is bare red brick.