“I am often asked the question: What is light? I don’t know. I have some idea of how light behaves, of how it can be made to vibrate. For example, in Vuoksenniska Church daylight enters the interior from several directions: warm light from one direction and cool light from another. The spaces are designed to produce reflections and reflections of reflections, or after-reflections. In Vuoksenniska Church the light vibrates …” Juha Leiviskä
Alvar Aalto Churches presents all 14 completed church buildings and parish centres designed by Aalto in Finland, Germany and Italy, from the 1920s to the 1970s. The earliest projects, from the 1920s, are the Kauhajärvi bell tower and four restoration projects. Aalto’s first completed church building is the classic, Italian-influenced Muurame Church in the late 1920s. Aalto’s next completed church was only in the late 1950s, the iconic Church of the Three Crosses in Vuoksenniska, which heralded a series of churches by Aalto over the next twenty years, built in different parts of Finland, in Seinäjoki, Alajärvi and Lahti, as well as abroad, in Wolfsburg in Germany and Riola di Vergato in Italy.
Jari Jetsonen’s colour photos – most of them taken especially for this book – together with Aalto’s original drawings and old photographs, reveal the solemn, yet intimate and modest atmosphere of each church. The mostly white or light-coloured churches together with their tall bell towers stand out in the landscape, full of exquisite beauty. Sirkkaliisa Jetsonen’s descriptions of each of the churches is complemented by architect Professor Simo Paavilainen’s detailed essay on Aalto’s unrealised church designs. In the foreword the award-winning architect, academician Juha Leiviskä absorbingly relates his impressions of Aalto’s church architecture that is immersed with light and music.