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The building completed in 1933 as Paimio Sanatorium was of key importance to the international career of architects Alvar and Aino Aalto. Together with Vyborg (Viipuri) Library, completed two years later, it gave the Aaltos an international profile. Finnish architecture was no longer merely the receiver of influences from outside.

Designed in



Finland, Paimio

— 1

Entrance. Photo: Maija Holma © Alvar Aalto Foundation

— 2

Plan of Paimio Sanatorium. Drawing © Alvar Aalto Foundation

— 3

Patient wing with sun terraces in 1930s. Photo: Gustaf Welin © Alvar Aalto Foundation

— 4

Patient wing with sun terraces altered to interior spaces. Photo: Maija Holma © Alvar Aalto Foundation

— 5

Plan of the patient wing. Drawing © Alvar Aalto Foundation

— 6

Section. Drawing © Alvar Aalto Foundation

— 7

Top floor sun terrace in 1933. Photo: Gustaf Welin © Alvar Aalto Foundation

— 8

Patiens in the top floor terrace in 1934. Photo: Gustaf Welin © Alvar Aalto Foundation

— 9

Room for patients in 1933. Photo: Gustaf Welin © Alvar Aalto Foundation

— 10

"A noiseless wash basin". Drawing © Alvar Aalto Foundation

— 11

Paimio chairs were used in the sanatorium. Photo: Gustaf Welin © Alvar Aalto Foundation

— 12

Sanatorium during summer. Photo: Maija Holma © Alvar Aalto Foundation

— 13

Site plan. Drawing © Alvar Aalto Foundation

— 14

Aerial photo of the sanatorium. Photo © Alvar Aalto Foundation

Guided tours

See opening hours from Paimio Sanatorium website

Enquiries:, tel. +358 413184431 (Thu-Sun) or +358 413147680 (Mon-Wed)

Later alterations

With the advent of antibiotics, tuberculosis could be cured and ceased to be such a terrifying disease, so the sanatorium was gradually converted into a general hospital from the early 1960s onwards.

After Alvar Aalto’s death in 1976, his office, Alvar Aalto & Co, was in charge of alterations, under the leadership of architect Elissa Aalto from 1976 until 1994; since 1996, design work has been carried out by LPR Architects.

Over the years, the hospital buildings have been altered considerably, but the key characteristics of the architecture and much of the original furniture have been preserved. In recent years, hospital functions have been transferred elsewhere and a new use has been sought for the building.

For new needs to be in harmony with this unique architectural whole, the issues of the future use of the building and change management have to be resolved before the work, started by the National Board of Antiquities, on seeking UNESCO World Heritage status, can be resumed.

Photo: Maija Holma, Alvar Aalto Museum



Alvar Aalto Architect volume 5: Paimio Sanatorium 1929-33 is a detailed book with images and drawings about the building and available on our


Architecture by Alvar Aalto 1: Paimio sanatorium is a booklet presenting the sanatorium with images and drawings. Available on


More information

Paimio sanatorium
Alvar Aallon tie 275
FI-21540 Preitilä

Tel: +358 41 318 4431

Paimio Sanatorium Foundation website

Photo: Maija Holma © Alvar Aalto Foundation

Visit Paimio Sanatorium

See available tours at