Jyväskylä – capital of Alvar Aalto’s architecture

New guided tours unfold Alvar Aalto’s story

Jyväskylä is known as Alvar Aalto’s city. Every year his handiwork attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world. Now, Jyväskylä offers four new guided Alvar Aalto tours that help make his creations known to ever growing audiences.

The Alvar Aalto tours are named in Italian, and for a very good reason. Leena Rossi, Chair of the Finnish Association of Architects SAFA and the Alvar Aalto Foundation, quotes Alvar Aalto who said the following almost one hundred years ago: “In many respects, Central Finland resembles Toscana, the home of cities built on hills, which gives pointers to how this province could be developed according to the ideals of classical beauty“.

“Alvar Aalto took a keen interest both in the Latin cultural heritage as well as the requirements imposed by modern society. This is a permanent feature reflected in his thinking and works. A trip to Italy was always on his mind – either the trip he had once made or a trip he was planning. For him, Italy was something that epitomised a charming design idiom on a human scale,” Rossi says.

An excellent opportunity to admire the magnificent landscapes of the Jyväskylä region, the city on the hill and Aalto’s human-scale architecture is provided by guided tours inspired by Aalto and Italy:

  • AALTO ANDANTE walk
  • 
AALTO FORTE walk
  • AALTO BRAVO bus tour
  • 
SPIRITO AALTO bus tour

Aalto Andante offers an overview of Aalto’s architecture, his personality and life in Jyväskylä. Aalto Forte focuses on Aalto’s architecture and his influences in more detail. Aalto Bravo gives a presentation of Aalto’s works over a period of almost six decades, including a bus tour of Säynätsalo and Muurame. Spirito Aalto focuses on the history of urban construction. Other sites presented beside Aalto’s works include buildings designed by Wivi Lönn, Elsi Borg, Arto Sipinen and Kirsti Siven.

Additionally, the summer programme includes AALTO E LA NATURA, a cruise on Lake Päijänne combined with a tour of the Säynätsalo Town Hall and three dance performances on the Aalto theme all year round: KoeAalto, Alvar and Elissa and Aalto Vase.

For more information on the new guided tours, go to visitjyvaskyla.fi/en/alvaraalto.

Book your guided tour in advance at Visit Jyväskylä Tourist Information, matkailu@jkl.fi, tel. +358 14 266 0113

Jyväskylä is the capital of Alvar Aalto’s architecture because:

  • Architect Alvar Aalto began and ended his successful career in Jyväskylä.
  • The Jyväskylä region features more buildings designed by Alvar Aalto than any other location in the world. The total of 28 sites include the Alvar Aalto Museum, Muuratsalo Experimental House, the Community Hall, Muurame Church and Säynätsalo Town Hall, which is regarded as one of Aalto’s seminal creations in the world.
  • Alvar Aalto spent his childhood and youth in Jyväskylä; he went to school there in the early 20th century, and later set up his architecture firm and founded a family in the city in the 1920s. Additionally, he spent his summers in Jyväskylä from the 1950s to the 1990s.
  • The world’s largest Alvar Aalto collection and his unique drawing archive are located in Jyväskylä.
  • The tradition is kept alive by the Alvar Aalto Symposium held in Jyväskylä every three years.

Text: Susanne Sarvilinna
Pictures: Walmari/Kalevi Korhonen, Tero Takalo-Eskola

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