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The Alvar Aalto Academy invited researchers and practitioners to explore the theme (EVER)GREEN ALVAR AALTO. The call for papers is closed. Thank you for all the submissions.

Call for papers


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    This topic invites papers that explore the ecological merits/disadvantages, as well as the enduring, or conversely outdated, qualities of Aalto’s architecture.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. 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 minutes or 5 minutes (posters) allotted for each presentation. All submissions will be considered for selection by the Scientific Committee to ensure their 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 schedule and requirements. All documents must be e-mailed according to the schedule to:


15 September 2020
Deadline for the abstract (300 words max / file: DOCX, TXT ) and the following attachments. The abstract should define the subject and summarize the argument to be presented in the proposed presentation.
– Author’s biography (200 words max / file: DOCX, TXT)
– Author’s photograph (640×480 pixel 600ppi / file: JPG)
– Author’s information (name, university/company/organization, address, country, telephone number, e-mail address / file: DOCX, TXT).

15 October 2020
Notification of acceptance of abstracts

15 October 2020
Deadline for the extended abstract. The Committee may require some rewriting of texts to bring them up to an acceptable standard. (1500 words max, including footnotes or endnotes, and up to 5 illustrations / file: DOCX, TXT).

15 February 2021
Submission of revised texts – if required by the scientific committee


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
Panu Savolainen, Professor, Aalto University, Department of Architecture
Mia Hipeli, Chief Curator, Alvar Aalto Foundation, secretary of the committee
Nina Heikkonen, Programme Manager, Alvar Aalto Foundation, secretary of the committee


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