The House of Culture (or Hall of Culture as it often referred to nowadays) was completed in 1958 and is of particular importance both in Aalto’s work and in Finnish cultural history as a whole. The building is one of the key works of Aalto’s red-brick period along with Säynätsalo Town hall, the National Pensions Institute, the Muuratsalo Experimental House and the University of Jyväskylä (formerly the Jyväskylä Pedagogical Institute). The wedge-shaped bricks used on the concert hall at the House of Culture can be considered to be a climax to Aalto’s red-brick period, since they could be used to construct ’free-form’ walls.
The House of Culture has had an extremely multi-faceted history. The building was erected mainly by volunteer labour and was at one and the same time a much-loved multipurpose centre, built as a base for the organisation, and a display of political power. In its early years the scale of the activities was dizzying.