Alvar Aalto´s original design was completed in 1965 and until 2012 it served as the main library in Seinäjoki. The library was refurbished and restored back to the original design and reopened in 2015. The refurbishment (2012–2015) was designed by Arkkitehdit Mustonen Oy. Also the furniture and the lighting for the reading room were restored during the renovation and were then installed to their original locations. Aalto Library and the Apila Library are connected with an underground passageway. Surface area of the library is 1600 square meters. The public areas are on two floors.

A lower reading space in the middle of the book hall.

Library facilities

The facilities in Aalto Library complete the services of the main library: arts, architecture, history and ethnology literature are placed in Aalto library as well as the regional collection and part of the childrens´s department. Music room Pommari, multi-function room Studio, youth facilities, exhibition spaces, meeting and working rooms, digitizing room and the unique Aalto design glass collection are also located in Aalto Library.


Aalto Library is a part of the Aalto Centre in Seinäjoki and one of the 11 libraries Alvar Aalto designed. In Aalto´s architecture the fixtures and furniture are all part of the entity. Details specially designed for the Seinäjoki library include features such as the triangular tables in the reading pit and the so-called blueberry lamps in the reading room.

The reading pit, a lowered reading space is typical for libraries Aalto designed. The reading pit serves as a reading room and is used also as a spatial solution for dividing the library space across different levels. One of the most striking architectural features of the building is the fan-shape of the circulation area as well as the vaulted ceiling where the the traces of the timber used in casting are visible. The fan-shape section breaks the basic rectangular form of the building, the feature is also characteristic for other libraries Aalto designed.

Book hall of the Aalto library.

The original, restored furniture and light fittings are still in use, also in the children´s department which is furnished with pieces designed by Aalto. The scale of the children´s section is fitted for children; the room height is lower and the furniture is smaller.

Bookshelves, tables and chairs at children's department.

Aalto paid a lot of attention to the lighting of the libraries. The light was not to be bright, there was not to be disturbing shadows but there must be enough light. In Seinäjoki library the lighting of the circulation area has been solved with the help of a string of upper windows. The natural light shining through the windows is reflecting through the arching reflection surface to the upper level of the lending department. Excess sunlight has been filtered out by horizontal slats attached to the outside of the windows. Natural light also shines on the information desk through the windows above and artificial light is procuced by the Aalto standard lamps hung onto the grating above the desk. The reading room features the beautiful blueberry lamps and the reading pit brass lamps. (Aaltonen: Seinäjoki library – a part of the magnificent Aalto Centre. 2015.)

Sunshine from the windows reflects to the white ceiling.
Desks, black chairs, and blueberry lamps by Aalto.

”The reason for the form of the library´s ceiling, which some may find strange, is lighting: the light must be indirect and not come from an angle whereby the customer´s shadow would be cast on the bookshelves and make them darker.” (Alvar Aalto. Seinäjoen kaupunkikeskus = Seinäjoki cultural and administrative centre. 2011)

Aalto´s library also houses the Aalto information desk and the Aalto design glass collection, both owned and maintained by the City of Seinäjoki. The glass collection displays pieces designed by Aino and Alvar Aalto.

The building has a white plaster facade and a copper roof. The ceiling is made of painted concrete and the floor is made of tiles and there is an oak parquet in some areas.