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The Wolfsburg Cultural Centre in Germany (Alvar Aalto Kulturhaus) was designed for a small German town built around the automotive industry. In choosing Alvar Aalto as the designer, the young city wanted to acquire a higher profile.

Designed in

1958-62

Location

Germany, Wolfsburg

— 1

The sculptural facade of the cultural centre. Photo: Maija Holma, Alvar Aalto Foundation.

— 2

Perspective sketch of the building. Drawing: Alvar Aalto Foundation.

— 3

White and blue Carrara marble are used in the facade. Photo: Maija Holma, Alvar Aalto Foundation.

— 4

The lobby in the first floor has a direct connection to the roof terrace through the large windows. Photo: Maija Holma, Alvar Aalto Foundation.

— 5

Natural light flows through the skylights to the lecture hall. Photo: Maija Holma, Alvar Aalto Foundation.

— 6

Section of the lecture hall. Drawing: Alvar Aalto Foundation.

— 7

Aalto saw the building as a complete work of art. Photo: Maija Holma, Alvar Aalto Foundation.

— 8

Different parts of the cultural centre surround the centrally located roof terrace. Photo: Maija Holma, Alvar Aalto Foundation.

— 9

Plan of the first floor with centrally located roof terrace. Drawing: Alvar Aalto Foundation.

— 10

Richly detailed roof terrace forms a central square, a theme often found in Aalto’s public buildings. Photo: Maija Holma, Alvar Aalto Foundation.

— 11

Several spaces in the building have direct view towards the roof terrace. Photo: Maija Holma, Alvar Aalto Foundation.

— 12

The workshop spaces surrounding the atrium are optimally provided with daylight. Photo: Maija Holma, Alvar Aalto Foundation.

— 13

The building has several different types of skylights. Photo: Maija Holma, Alvar Aalto Foundation.

— 14

The library is a variation of Aalto´s characteristic “sunken” library with skylights. Photo: Maija Holma, Alvar Aalto Foundation.

— 15

A recurring theme in Aalto’s buildings can be seen here: lamps are placed to enable artificial light and natural light to flow from the same direction. Photo: Maija Holma, Alvar Aalto Foundation.

— 16

Aalto designed several special light fittings for the cultural centre. They were manufactured by master metalworker Viljo Hirvonen, Aalto´s trusted lamp expert. Photo: Maija Holma, Alvar Aalto Foundation.

Visit information

See visit.alvaraalto.fi for information about visiting the building.