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The Alvar Aalto Academy invites researchers and practitioners to explore the theme (EVER)GREEN ALVAR AALTO.

Download: Call for Papers in PDF



The theme prompts us to ponder from a variety of perspectives the different aspects of Alvar Aalto’s architectural production, working methods and architectural thinking, and their relevance to the architectural design and culture of the 2020s.

The exemplary standards set by Alvar Aalto’s architecture, his contribution to the ideologies and values of 20th-century modernism, and the global significance of Aalto’s buildings, town plans and designs – as well as the urgent demand to dramatically diminish the environmental impact of construction – make it imperative to analyse, question and redefine architectural sustainability from pragmatic, theoretical, metaphorical, as well as cultural viewpoint

The seminar’s organizers encourage researchers to focus, but not necessarily exclusively, on the following three topics:

  1. How can Alvar Aalto’s architecture and design be regarded as being sustainable?
    This topic invites papers that explore the ecological merits/disadvantages, as well as the enduring, or conversely outdated, qualities of Aalto’s architecture. Papers can discuss sustainability with regard to the material, technical or structural qualities of individual Aalto designs or the design methods used by Aalto’s office, or they can examine sustainability in Aalto’s architectural production from a wider cultural or theoretical perspective.
  2. How does Alvar Aalto’s architecture resonate in other architectural contexts?
    This topic invites comparative research that contrasts the work of Aalto or his office with that of their contemporaries or with the architecture of our own time. Papers can, for example, examine how Aalto’s architectural thinking bears on other architects’ work or is reflected in other modes of architectural production.
  3. How is sustainability addressed in restoration/reuse projects on buildings of the Aalto era?
    This topic invites practice-led or practice-based case studies on renovation projects either on Aalto’s buildings or other edifices built between the 1930s and 1970s. How do contemporary environmental standards match the physical qualities of modernist buildings? How do restoration architects or Conservation Management Plans make compromises between the conflicting interests of architectural preservation, green building initiatives, developers, users, and social and cultural sustainability?



The seminar programme includes keynote speeches, oral and poster presentations, and round-table discussions based on selected proposals.

Participants are asked to submit an abstract and, if selected, to provide an extended abstract to be presented at the Alvar Aalto Researchers Network Seminar over the course of the two-day event on 27–28 August 2020. The organizers reserve the right to arrange proposals into sub-theme sessions according to the types of proposals and their content. Accepted proposals will be presented within the 20 or 10 minutes allotted for each presentation. All submissions will be considered for selection by the Scientific Committee to ensure quality and relevance.

Paper proposals should be the product of well-documented and original research or architectural work that is primarily analytical and interpretative, rather than being descriptive or polemical in nature. The organizers especially welcome proposals that are the product of original artistic, practice-based or practice-led research.

The Alvar Aalto Academy looks forward to receiving proposals in response to the Open Call, and will be happy to respond to enquiries from interested parties. Questions can be sent via e-mail to

All accepted proposals will be published, with the author’s permission, on the Alvar Aalto Researchers Network site:

Please submit your abstract according to the following requirements:

  1. Abstract (300 words max / file: DOCX, TXT ). The abstract should define the subject and summarize the argument to be presented in the proposed presentation.
  2. Author’s biography (200 words max / file: DOCX, TXT)
  3. Author’s photograph (640×480 pixel 600ppi / file: JPG)
  4. Author’s information (name, university/company/organization, address, country, telephone number, e-mail address / file: DOCX, TXT).
  5. Extended abstract (1500 words max, including footnotes or endnotes, and up to 5 illustrations / file: DOCX, TXT).

All documents must be e-mailed according to the schedule to:



7 October 2019 – Announcement of Call for Papers.
26 January 2020 – Deadline for abstracts.
28 February 2020 – Notification of acceptance of abstracts.
1 March 2020 – Registration for the seminar and excursions opens.
31 May 2020 – Deadline for extended abstracts. The Committee may require some rewriting of texts to bring them up to an acceptable standard.
31 July 2020 – Deadline for the early-bird fee.
1 August 2020 – Submission of revised texts – if requested by the Committee.
26 August 2020 – Pre-seminar excursion
27-28 August 2020 – Seminar



Wednesday 26.8.2020
12:00–20:00 Pre-seminar excursion to Aalto sites from Helsinki to Pori – not included in the seminar fee.
Sites: Aalto Studio and Aalto House in Helsinki, Paimio Sanatorium, Terrace House in Kauttua.
Price €120 (incl. guided tour, bus transportation, coffee and snacks on the way).

Thursday 27.8.2020
09:00–09:30 Registration
09:30–16:00 Seminar programme, Day 1
16:00–19:00 Excursion to Villa Mairea – included in the registration fee (Tours start at 16:00/17:00, duration 2h, max 20/tour)
19:00–21:00 Evening reception by the City of Pori

Friday 28.8.2020
09:00–09:30 Registration
09:30–16:00 Seminar programme, Day 2
18:00–20:00 Excursion to Villa Mairea – included in the registration fee (Tours start at 16:00/17:00/18:00, duration 2h, max 20/tour)

The organizers reserve the right to alter the programme.



Participation requires registration for the seminar. The registration fee covers:

  • Seminar programme 27–28 August 2020
  • Lunch and coffee served on 27–28 August 2020
  • Evening reception by the city of Pori on 27 August 2020
  • Guided tour of Villa Mairea on 27 or 28 August 2020

Registration type EARLY BIRD, till 31 July 2020 / FULL PRICE, 1-28 August 2020
Full registration €150 / €200
One-day registration €90 / €120
Student (undergraduate) €30 / €50

All prices include VAT.



Members of the Scientific Committee:

Vilhelm Helander, Professor Emeritus of the History of Architecture
Olli-Paavo Koponen, Professor of the History of Architecture, Tampere University
Tommi Lindh, Managing Director, Alvar Aalto Foundation
Anu Soikkeli, Docent, Senior Lecturer in the History of Architecture and Restoration Studies, Oulu School of Architecture, University of Oulu
Anni Vartola, PhD, Senior University Lecturer in Theory of Architecture, Aalto University, Department of Architecture
Mia Hipeli, Chief Curator, Alvar Aalto Foundation, secretary of the committee
Nina Heikkonen, Program Manager, Alvar Aalto Foundation, secretary of the committee



Nina Heikkonen
Program Manager, Alvar Aalto Foundation
+358 44 500 1257
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