Wolfsburg Cultural Center

Alvar Aalto Kulturhaus

Wolfsburg Cultural Center
Architect: Alvar Aalto
Address: Porschestrasse 51, Wolfsburg, Germany

Apart from the 'industrial life', the town needs a cultural focal point. The town was able to contain all cultural institutions in one building; the municipal library, the adult education centre, lecture halls, work- shops, a drawing studio and, last but not least, a library with a reading garden for children. At its north perimeter, the building borders the town hall square and so forms the edge of the town centre. The main entrances and the closed fan-like cubes of the lecture halls form this main facade. The rooms are optimally provided with daylight by sky-lights. The exemplary design of details such as railings, ceilings, doors, wall lighting, and seating are of great importance in Aalto’s architecture. A great deal of alteration work has been carried out since the mid-80’s on the spatial and functional design of the building as well as the surroundings. The building is one of the most important building monuments in the town.

"In typical Aalto fashion, the centre of the building is a roof terrace, an image of a Greek ‘agora’ within the privacy of the building, but surely juxtaposed with the town square opposite. In a sense, this is Aalto at his most abstract: a building constructed around a metaphorical public offering but at the same time making quite clear the conditions of that gift. Despite the impressions given by photographs, the only consistent element, and even that pertains only to the public edges of the building, is the arcade connecting all the many public entrance points."
David Dunster: Architectural Monographs 4, St. Martin's Press, New York 1984. p90
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