Found project: Kulturzentrum Wolfsburg


    Project : Kulturzentrum Wolfsburg

    Language variant : Wolfsburg Cultural Centre

    Architect : Aalto, Alvar

    Completion: 1963

    Locality : Wolfsburg

    Country : Germany

    Building style : Modern architecture (not specified)

    Project on the map (green arrow)

    Description :

    Adopting the idea of the Greek agora, Aalto designed a spatial organism that accommodates the municipal library, the adult education institute, and a youth center, all covered, unlike the agora, by a roof.

    The ground floor is distinguished by its systematic sequence of spaces, comprising the adult library, the youth library and the children’s library with ancillary outdoor play and reading areas, and the multipurpose hall at the heart of the building. The upper floor plan, in contrast, is characterized by a fanlike arrangement of lecture spaces and the atrium situated directly above the hall.

    Along the three sides of the building accessible from the public square or road, Aalto created a transition between outdoor and indoor spaces in the form of single-story colonnades, over which the building seems to hover. The external appearance of the center is strongly influenced by the material used for the facade cladding: gleaming white Carrara marble.

    The most striking feature of the design of the cultural center is the fan-shaped plan of the lecture halls.

    The main design elements of the foyer include a large number of columns clad in white porcelain elements; the white-painted, timber-grid soffit; the three-tier, dish-shaped lamp fittings designed by Aalto and the curving counter with lockers. The walls are lined with dark-blue tiles. The entrance hall was meant to function as a flowing transitional zone between external and internal space.

    Of the architectural solutions implemented also in the Viipuri Library (1930–35), one example is the terraced layout of the library and reading rooms to form a “spatial organism” set out vertically and horizontally on various levels. The underlying idea was to arrange reading and lending rooms on different levels, as if on the slope of a hill, around a central control point at the top of the building.

    Roseneck, Reinhard: “Alvar Aalto in Wolfsburg”. – Alvar Aalto. Toward a Human Modernism. Edited by Winfried Nerdinger. Prestel Verlag, Munich 1999, pp. 143–145.


    “Here are all those romantic, mannered personal details and plan motifs, in spite (or because) of which Aalto’s most poetic works usually stop just short of willfulness.”

    “Even the culture center’s dry, somewhat mechanical qualities—its papery, plaid Carrara marble cladding and colorless interiors—reflect that certain coldness which from about this time crept increasingly into Aalto’s later works.”

    De Witt, Dennis J. & De Witt, Elizabeth R: Modern Architecture in Europe. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London 1987, p. 82.

    Ed. Heikki Nikkinen



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    Kulturzentrum Wolfsburg
    Kulturzentrum Wolfsburg
    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

    Kulturzentrum Wolfsburg
    Kulturzentrum Wolfsburg
    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

    Kulturzentrum Wolfsburg
    Kulturzentrum Wolfsburg
    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

    Kulturzentrum Wolfsburg
    Kulturzentrum Wolfsburg
    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

    Kulturzentrum Wolfsburg
    Kulturzentrum Wolfsburg
    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

    Kulturzentrum Wolfsburg
    Kulturzentrum Wolfsburg
    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

    Kulturzentrum Wolfsburg
    Kulturzentrum Wolfsburg
    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

    Kulturzentrum Wolfsburg
    Kulturzentrum Wolfsburg
    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

    Kulturzentrum Wolfsburg
    Kulturzentrum Wolfsburg
    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

    Kulturzentrum Wolfsburg
    Kulturzentrum Wolfsburg
    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

    Kulturzentrum Wolfsburg
    Kulturzentrum Wolfsburg
    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

    Kulturzentrum Wolfsburg
    Kulturzentrum Wolfsburg
    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

    Kulturzentrum Wolfsburg
    Kulturzentrum Wolfsburg
    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

    Kulturzentrum Wolfsburg
    Kulturzentrum Wolfsburg
    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

    Kulturzentrum Wolfsburg
    Kulturzentrum Wolfsburg
    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

    Kulturzentrum Wolfsburg
    Kulturzentrum Wolfsburg
    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

    Kulturzentrum Wolfsburg
    Kulturzentrum Wolfsburg
    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

    Kulturzentrum Wolfsburg
    Kulturzentrum Wolfsburg
    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

    Kulturzentrum Wolfsburg
    Kulturzentrum Wolfsburg
    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

    Kulturzentrum Wolfsburg
    Kulturzentrum Wolfsburg
    Image © Arto Kuorikoski