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Alvar Aalto's Viipuri Library project with a BIM software Edificius

Alvar Aalto’s Viipuri Library project with a BIM software

Let's find out how Alvar Aalto would have designed his famous Viipuri Library with the help of a modern BIM Oriented software (part 2)

In the previous article we have seen how a BIM software could facilitate Alvar Aalto's work reproducing some architectural elements of the Viipuri Library project.

Let's start off by analyzing the auditorium as a new architectural element of the project.

The Viipuri library auditorium

The building consists of three separate volumes:

  • the first two, being roughly two cubes of considerable size, are destined to accommodate the reading rooms, characterized by internal zenith lighting (thanks to circular conical openings made in the roofs) and perimeter walls without windows.
  • the third volume, which is lower and longer, is destined to the auditorium, characterized by large windows to transmit the feeling of being immersed in the splendid surrounding park.


Viipuri library strip window

A peculiar feature of the auditorium is the wavy ceiling made of red wood strips.

Aalvar Aalto intended to especially enhance one of the 5 human senses.

While in the reading room had paid attention to the design of the lighting system (sense of sight) in the auditorium he focused on the acoustics (sense of hearing).

In this regard Aalvar Alto explained the motivations behind his project:

The ceiling of the auditorium is made up of joint wood strips [...] that spread the sound, particularly during a speech, in an acoustically optimal way. Since debating is as important as the lectures, the herng/audibility is not set only to one direction, as it happens for concert halls. My acoustic arrangement aims to make every point of the auditorium equally efficient as a transmitter and as a receiver of words when pronounced at a normal volume over the entire surface. I believe that acoustic problems are primarily physiological and psychological, and this is why they can not be solved by purely mechanical means.

The particular shape of this counter-ceiling has been specially designed so that the acoustics are optimal, whatever the position occupied by the listener inside the auditorium.


Viipuri library false ceiling render

Let's see how Alvar Aalto could have designed a strip-window and the auditorium ceiling thanks to the  BIM software Edificius.

Designing the auditorium false ceiling with a BIM software

The false ceiling is created by first creating its transversal profile with the solid extrusion object editor. Alternatively we could use profiles already available in DXF format.

We can follow the model perimeter with the help of magnetic snaps and once the profile is created we save it in our project library.


Next we can insert a 3D MagneticGrid that will act as a guide for the positioning of our previously created solid. We assign it throughout our ceiling thanks to the copy and paste function.


Designing the auditorium strip window with a BIM software

We can set the window properties directly from the project catalogue, like dimensions and type. Once the sizing is finished, with a simple click, we accurately position it in the 3D model.


In a few simple steps we have redesigned some characteristic details of the Alvar Aalto project using a BIM software.


Find out how to easily and rapidly design a public structure like a library with Edificius, the architectural BIM design software