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THE ALVAR AALTO MEDAL – AWARD RULES AND JURY GUIDELINES, 2011

1 §
The medal bearing the name of Academician Alvar Aalto and 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. Whenever possible, the medal is awarded on Alvar Aalto’s birthday or other anniversary in connection with which the award ceremony for the medal can be held with the appropriate solemnity.

2 §
Five associated organisations are responsible for awarding the Alvar Aalto Medal:

1) The Alvar Aalto Foundation

2) The Finnish Association of Architects (SAFA)

3) The City of Helsinki

4) Foundation for the Museum of Finnish Architecture and Architecture Information Finland

5) The Finnish Society of Architecture

3 §
The medal is awarded every third year, and this practice can be deviated from only following the unanimous decision of the five associated organisations responsible for awarding the medal.

4 §
Associated organisations:

1) The associated organisations appoint for each three-year period a five-member medal committee, for which each associated organisation appoints a representative of their executive directorate as a member, and also a reserve member. The Alvar Aalto Foundation invites the members of the medal committee to attend the meetings.

2) The associated organisations are responsible for the project’s budget, the management of payments and accounts, dissemination of information, the awarding of the prize as well as lectures and other public events linked to it, in accordance with a mutual agreement agreed upon at the beginning of each three-year period.

5 §
The medal committee:

1) The term of office of the medal committee begins from the awarding of the previous medal and ends with the awarding of the next one.

2) The medal committee is responsible during its own three-year period, together with the associated organisations, for the practical arrangements and budgetary control linked with the awarding of the medal.

3) The medal committee selects among them a chairman and appoints a secretary for the project.

4) The medal committee draws up an action and financial plan for their three-year period and has it approved by the associated organisations.

5) The medal committee invites six members to form the jury that will select the medal winner.

  • the members of the medal committee and the jury cannot be the same persons.
  • the jury members must widely represent the international expertise in their own field.
  • at least one jury member must be a foreigner, the choice of which the medal committee decide upon jointly.

6) If for some reason the jury members cannot reach a unanimous decision and the need to vote arises then each member of the medal committee has one vote, and if the voting is tied the chairman casts the deciding vote.

7) The medal committee selects the chairman of the jury.

  • the secretary of the medal committee also acts as the jury secretary.

8) The medal committee invites the jury to attend the constitutive meeting but after this must not participate in the jury work.

9) The medal committee meets when necessary at the written invitation of the chairman or one of the associated organisations mentioned in 2 §, but nevertheless at least twice during their term of office.

6 §
The jury:

1) The jury selects the medal recipient(s)

2) The jury’s work begins from the invitation from the medal committee to the constitutive meeting.

3) The jury has a quorum for deciding on issues regarding the medal recipient when at least four (4) members are present at the meeting.

4) When dealing with other issues, the jury has a quorum for deciding when at least three (3) members are present at the meeting.

5) If the voting is tied, the chairman casts the deciding vote.

6) Minutes are kept during the meetings. The decision regarding the medal recipient(s), along with the reasoning for the decision, will additionally be recorded in a medal book made specifically for this purpose, in which also the recipient(s) of the medal will add their signature. The medal book and the minutes of the meetings as well as other material from the meetings will be retained by the Alvar Aalto Foundation/Museum.

7 §
Based on a proposal by the medal committee, it is possible to change the above rules following the unanimous decision of the associated organisations.

The Alvar Aalto Foundation

The Finnish Association of Architects

The City of Helsinki

Foundation for the Museum of Finnish Architecture

The Finnish Society of Architecture