Alvar Aalto, Russia, restoration project, Finish architecture, wooden ceilings, skylights, wooden architecture, glass facade

The restoration of the library, executed in a collaboration between Finnish and Russian institutions, was officially completed in 2013. The main emphasis of the project was on preserving the original architectural values of the building while taking into account the continuing operational needs of the library.

Related: Alvar Aalto through the eyes of Shigeru Ban

The works were executed in phases, and a grant of $300,000 from WMF’s Robert W. Wilson Challenge to Conserve Our Heritage was invested into the restoration of the 58 signature skylights over the reading room and lending library. The Finnish Committee for the Restoration of Viipuri Library supervised and guided the project, along with inspecting and documenting the restoration process, while The Alvar Aalto Foundation supported the work of the committee by providing free access to the archives of original drawings, specifications, and photographs.

+ The World Monuments Fund

Photos by Denis Esakov