Skip to main content


The Alvar Aalto Museum’s new exhibition, La dolce vita – Summer paradises by Alvar Aalto, presents summer homes designed by Aalto. Standard designs, one-off villas built for friends and acquaintances, plus the Aalto family’s own summer cottages transport visitors to the heart of the Finnish summer. The exhibition is on show to the public in the Gallery at the Alvar Aalto Museum in Jyväskylä from 22.5.2015 to 20.9.2015.

Villa Oksala_ulkokuva Alvar Aalto suunnitteli professori Päivö Oksalan perheen kesähuvilan Korpilahdelle Päijänteen saareen (1965–1966, 1974). Valok. Jari Jetsonen. Alvar Aalto designed a villa for professor Päivö Oksala´s family in Korpilahti, on an island in Lake Päijänne. (1965–1966, 1974). Photo Jari Jetsonen.

Alvar Aalto designed a villa for professor Päivö Oksala´s family in Korpilahti, on an island in Lake Päijänne. (1965–1966, 1974). Photo Jari Jetsonen.

Through the medium of villas, cottages and summer huts we can take a look at a much-loved, traditional Finnish way of spending the summer. For the first time, the exhibition gathers together Aalto’s standard villa types and his one-off summer designs into a single collection under the same theme.

“Aalto’s summer cottage designs link the architecture of summer holidays to the development of society as a whole. In a hundred years, Finland has become a land of half a million summer homes. From the very beginning, Finns have sought inspiration for building from various sources including the summer homes of artists and architects. Even architectural competitions produced standard drawings for summer villas and weekend cottages,” explains Alvar Aalto Museum Curator Mari Murtoniemi.

A significant number of the standard drawings for summer homes designed by Aalto were competition proposals. One of the best-known of these is the circular Merry-go-round’, which Aalto designed for the Aitta magazine competition, in 1928. As well as standard drawings for summer homes, the exhibition also presents designs commissioned from Alvar Aalto, including the Country Club at Kallvik, designed as a summer holiday spot for the staff of Enso Gutzeit, the Villa Oksala and the Aalto family’s own summer paradises, the Villa Flora and the Experimental House.

Besides drawings and text, the exhibition is built round scale models of summer cottages and some delightful 16 mm. film capturing the Aalto family on holiday in the 1920s. The exhibition was designed by Jonas Hakaniemi.

A travelling exhibition entitled The Alvar Aalto Medallist 2015 will also be opened in conjunction with the opening of the Alvar Aalto Museum’s summer exhibition. This exhibition, which began its tour at the Museum of Finnish Architecture in Helsinki, presents the work of Spanish architectural practice, Nieto Sobejano. The founders of the practice, Fuensanta Nieto and Enrique Sobejano, have carved out important careers for themselves from the 1980s onwards, both at home and abroad. They have received special praise for the depth of their understanding of local culture and the background to their commissions. The exhibition will be open from 22.5.2015 to 9.8.2015.

The exhibitions will be opened on Thursday 21.5.2015 at 18.00.

La dolce vita – Summer paradises by Alvar Aalto
The Alvar Aalto Medallist 2015

Alvar Aalto Museum
Alvar Aallon katu 7, Jyväskylä
open Tue–Sun 11.00–18.00

Press photos:

For further information about the exhibition, contact:
Curator Mari Murtoniemi, mari.murtoniemi(at), tel. +358 40 355 9162