The poor economic situation took its toll on the construction budget of the main building and the design had to be toned down. When these cutbacks and finishing the designs were discussed in a meeting with TKK’s advisory committee in November 1954, Alvar Aalto, who was responsible for the design of the building, lost his temper.
During the meeting, Aalto apparently boxed the ears of Petri Bryk, mining counsellor and managing director of Outokumpu Ltd. and a new member of TKK’s advisory committee. The rumour goes that Bryk vowed he would strike the next blow, but Aalto left the meeting before he could do so. The incident has been recorded in the notes of architect Jussi Lappi-Seppälä who had at the time recently become the general manager of the Finnish National Board of Building.
It appears that the incident was caused by conflicting artistic and financial views (see Nykänen 2007, p. 128). Lappi-Seppälä has suspected that Aalto’s reaction was also fuelled by the disagreement between Aalto and himself (see Lappi-Seppälä 1972, p. 160). There was a dispute between the Finnish Association of Architects and the Finnish National Board of Building, the so-called architectural schism that lasted from 1954 to 1957. The dispute was personified in the rift between Aalto, Chair of the Finnish Association of Architects, and Lappi-Seppälä. Docent Panu Nykänen believes that the dispute centred on the question of whether architects owned the artistic rights to the buildings they designed. (see Nykänen 2007, p. 132)
The design for the main building was eventually completed. The final drawings were ready in January 1955. Construction of the main building lasted from 1961 to 1964. The building was inaugurated in 1966.