Skip to main content


The new exhibition at Studio Aalto tells the story of the cooperation that took place between Alvar Aalto and master metalworker Viljo Hirvonen from 1953 to 1975. The exhibition also takes a look at the way many familiar light fittings came into being. The material is mainly based on the Valaistustyö Viljo Hirvonen collection which was deposited at the Alvar Aalto Museum in 2009. A more extensive version of the exhibition was on show at the Alvar Aalto Museum in Jyväskylä in 2010.

From the moment Valaistustyö Ky was founded in Helsinki in 1952, the firm was the principle producer of the light fittings designed by Alvar Aalto. Valaistustyö Ky also produced a number of small objects for the Artek retail range. Countless different light fittings were produced under Viljo Hirvonen’s skilled direction, fittings which subsequently acquired such popular nick-names as Golden Bell, Bilberry, Flying Saucer and Beehive.

Lighting has an important role in Aalto’s architecture. Besides natural light, lighting includes artificial lighting for both indoor and outdoor spaces. This was implemented by using light fittings that were either in series production and used for various buildings or special fittings designed for one specific building.

In Aalto’s buildings, interior design is a fundamental element in the architectonic whole of each building and the design of the light fittings is a part of this whole. Studio Aalto with its series production light fittings and its one-off light fittings forms a natural environment for a small-scale exhibition dealing with light fittings.


Alvar Aalto & Viljo Hirvonen & Valaistustyö Ky

Studio Aalto, Tiilimäki 20, Helsinki

June 8 to December 31, 2011

You can visit the exhibition in conjunction with a guided architectural tour at 11.30 from Tuesday to Saturday.

Entrance fees:

Adults 17€, students and pensioners 7€,

Groups (of more than 10 people) 10€/person.

Notice must be given of groups in advance.

The cost of the guide is included in the entrance fee.


Special guided tours may be reserved at other times at extra cost.

Contact: riihitie(@)

Press photos