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Renovation of Säynätsalo Town Hall 1995-1998

Säynätsalo town hall is an internationally renown monument in modern architectural history. On account of its architectural significance the town hall’s courtyard grouping was protected by a building preservation law 3 § 2 on 30th of May 1994. Säynätsalo municipality had become part of the city of Jyväskylä in 1993, which also meant that town hall now belonged to the city of Jyväskylä.

Renovation began in 1995 since there were damages caused by moisture in the building. The condition of the external covering and inner spaces was already satisfactory before the renovation, but the roof was generally in a bad state and there were leaks in several places. The technical standard of the services had become obsolete, too.

The exterior of the building had remained almost in its original form. Interior spaces in the council chamber, entrance hall, meeting room of the local government and in the corridor encircling the inner courtyard had even their details remained in the original forms. The basis for the renovation plan was the original use of the building. The preservation ruling presupposed this. All the spaces were thus completely restored.

Added stairway in the eastern office section from the 1970s was removed during the renovation. Also the apartments on the upper level, occasionally used by the municipal office, were reinstated as apartments.

Other alterations and repairs (except some changes concerning space and constructional and technical services) were carried out according to the original style and plan. Only broken or damaged parts were repaired. Patina of time and use of the building was left visible in those parts, which were not renewed.

Correcting the moisture problem from the structure of the building was vital for the preservation of the building and for a healthy residential and work environment. It was important to save the old materials and details in the building for the future generations.

The renovation was completed in 1998, just in time for the centenary of Alvar Aalto’s birth.

The renovation was planned by the house-planning unit of the technical service centre of the town of Jyväskylä. The town-housing unit was responsible for construction and the town-planning department for instrumentation.

The National Board of Antiquities and Monuments and Alvar Aalto Museum supervised the execution of the conservation ruling.


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