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Aalto took part in a competition for a large church and parish centre announced by Seinäjoki parish in 1951, sending in an entry marked “Lakeuksien risti” (“Cross of the plains”).

Instead of placing the parish rooms under the church or in a smaller, separate building, as the other entrants had done, Aalto seized upon the big religious events commonly organized in Osthrobotnia in summer. He laid out a large piazza, loping down towards the church and girded by the parish facilities, in front of the church´s main facade.

Designed in



Finland, Seinäjoki

— 1

Cross of the Plains Church and parish centre. Photo: Maija Holma, Alvar Aalto Foundation

— 2

Section of the church hall. Drawing: Alvar Aalto Foundation

— 3

Plan of church hall and parish centre. Drawing: Alvar Aalto Foundation

— 4

Scale model of the church and parish centre. Photo: Eino Mäkinen, Alvar Aalto Foundation

— 5

Alvar and Elissa Aalto during construction work Photo: Kalevi A. Mäkinen, Alvar Aalto Foundation

— 6

Seinäjoki city centre in the 1960s. Seinäjoki Town Hall and library can be seen already behind the church, the parish centre is still unrealized. Photo: Kalevi A. Mäkinen, Alvar Aalto Foundation

— 7

Church hall. Photo: Eva ja Pertti Ingervo, Alvar Aalto Foundation

— 8

Church hall. Photo: Kalevi Mäkinen, Alvar Aalto Foundation

— 9

The Cross of the Plains, the 65m high campanile. Photo: Martti Kapanen, Alvar Aalto Foundation

— 10

Wedding chapel with a stained-glass work by Aalto. Photo: Martti Kapanen, Alvar Aalto Foundation

Guided tours


See  for information about trips to Aalto sites in Seinäjoki.