(January 2010) History through a Single Building - The Case of Vyborg Aalto Library

History through a Single Building - The Case of Vyborg Aalto Library  image
 

The scope of my research is to produce a social history of a single building from 1935, namely, the Vyborg Aalto Library located in the Russian part of Carelia. The guiding hypothesis is that buildings can be researched and understood as 'archives of historical transformations', and special attention is paid to the meanings of time, location and memory. The time frame is divided to three parts: Finnish, Soviet and Russian. The controversies surrounding this building evolve around its role as a Finnish architectural monument on Russian soil, gaps in knowledge concerning the buildings' past, and its use as a city library while being an endangered monument. In the present, the Library is promoted by a private Finnish foundation as the prototype of Functionalist architecture and a pilot project for restoration of modern buildings. Through use of multiple sources of information the aim of the research is to brake outside of single view point and time frame. The expected result of the research is to contribute towards a better understanding of Finnish, Socialist and post-Socialist readings of history and to turn attention towards the process of the Library ‘becoming heritage' .