What is Alvar Aalto medal?

The medal bearing the name of Academician Alvar Aalto and also designed by him, was founded in 1967 to honour creative architecture. The medal can be awarded to living persons who have in a significant way distinguished themselves creatively within the field of architecture.

Alvar Aalto himself received the first medal in 1967. The internationally renowned prize is awarded every few years. 2017 marks 50 years since the founding of the award. The next Alvar Aalto medal will be awarded in 2020.

All the medallists (listed below) were presented in an exhibition at the Alvar Aalto Museum 3.2.−5.5.2019. There’s also a website dedicated to the medal at

Making of Alvar Aalto medal by Heikki Hyytiäinen from Arkkitehtuurimuseo MFA on Vimeo.



Alvar Aalto Medal celebrated 50 years in 2017. In order to celebrate the honorable history, the medal was be handed out exceptionally already after a two years’ interval. The medalist was  announced September 2017. The international Alvar Aalto Medal jury in 2017 consisted of the Japanese architect Toshiko Mori, Danish architect Tina Saaby and Finnish architects Asmo Jaaksi and Vesa Oiva.

Photo: Alvar Aalto medalist 2017 Zhang Ke: Beijing Micro-Hutong 2013 © ZAO/standardarchitecture

The Alvar Aalto Medal winners and juries


Alvar Aalto (Finland)

Perustajatahojen Suomen Arkkitehtiliiton, Suomen rakennustaiteen museosäätiön ja Rakennustaiteen seuran aloitteesta.


Hakon Ahlberg (Sweden)

Jury: Alvar Aalto, Aarno Ruusuvuori, Kirmo Mikkola, Heikki Hosia, Kjell Lund, Leslie Martin.


James Stirling (UK)

Jury: Erik Kråkström, Aarno Ruusuvuori, Kirmo Mikkola, Kjell Lund and James Richards.


Jørn Utzon (Denmark)

Jury: Aarno Ruusuvuori, Jaakko Numminen, Juhani Pallasmaa, Kirmo Mikkola, Henning Larsen, Roland Schweitzer.


Tadao Ando (Japan)

Jury: Aarno Ruusuvuori, Jaakko Numminen, Juhani Pallasmaa, Kirmo Mikkola, Henning Larsen, Roland Schweitzer.


Alvaro Siza (Portugal)

Jury: Pekka Salminen, Jaakko Numminen, Juhani Pallasmaa, Pekka Helin, Carl Nyrén, Kenneth Frampton.


Glenn Murcutt (Australia)

Jury: Gunnel Adlercreutz, Pentti Kareoja, Aimo Murtomäki, Juhani Pallasmaa, Sverre Fehn, Kenneth Frampton.


Steven Holl (USA)

Jury: Jyrki Tasa, Pentti Kareoja, Markku Komonen, Aimo Murtomäki, Niels Torp, Kenneth Frampton. Mitali luovutettiin Aallon syntymän 100-vuotispäivänä 3.2.1998.


Rogelio Salmona (Colombia)

Jury: Kristian Gullichsen, Harri Hautajärvi, Aimo Murtomäki, Pekka Pakkala, Peter Zumthor, Louisa Hutton.


Tegnestuen Vandkunsten (Denmark)

Jury: Anna Brunow, Mikko Heikkinen, Juha Ilonen, Pekka Pakkala, Matti Rautiola, Yoshio Taniguchi, Gert Wingårdh.


Paulo David (Portugal)

Jury: Glenn Murcutt, Jens Arnfred, Luis Mansilla, Roy Mänttäri, Simo Paavilainen.


Fuensanta Nieto ja Enrique Sobejano (Spain)

Jury: Rainer Mahlamäki, Simo Freese, Wessel de Jonge, Dorte Mandrup–Poulsen.


Zhang Ke (China)

Jury: Toshiko Mori, Asmo Jaaksi, Vesa Oiva, Tina Saaby.

The world-renowned architect Toshiko Mori heads her eponymous practice, Toshiko Mori Architect, and was the keynote speaker at the Architecture Day seminar on February 3, 2017. Mori’s office creates architectural solutions that improve quality of life and engage in a respectful dialogue with their particular cultural setting.

Tina Saaby has been Copenhagen’s Chief City Architect since 2010, and she has an extensive history of planning experience as head of Witraz Architects. She additionally chairs the advisory board of the Royal Academy of Arts.

Asmo Jaaksi is a founding member of JKMM Architects. Over the past 20 years, JKMM has notched up a formidable list of awards and nominations. Jaaksi is currently supervising the construction of the new Amos Rex Art Museum adjoining Helsinki’s Glass Palace.

Vesa Oiva ranks among Finland’s most accomplished architects of the younger generation. He is the founder of Anttinen Oiva Architects, a practice that has gained recognition for its expressive and user-friendly architecture, particularly through architectural competitions.