Alvar Aalto Week was celebrated in Paimio and Turku in the last week of August. The week fulfilled the expectations in terms of the diversity and content of its programme. Warm sunny days attracted a huge audience to the city event and the programme built around architecture, design and arts gathered thousands of visitors to a total of about forty events organised in the two cities.
The third Alvar Aalto Week offered a programme filled with culture to city residents of different ages. In Paimio, the Aika valossa (Time in Light) dance performances in the sanatorium were especially popular and were almost sold out. Suljettujen ovien takana (Behind the closed doors) of Sanatorium buildings, a special tour of Paimio Sanatorium, also attracted a large number of visitors. In Turku, the Turku ups and downs guided tours presenting the city’s history and architecture from new kinds of perspectives inspired interest. The Turku Fair in 1929 and 2029 exhibition and the Aalto, Bryggman and functionalism exhibition set up at the Main Library of Turku also reached a large audience. The unique visits to A-Factory in Kaarina in turn offered an excellent opportunity for visitors to see how Artek’s furniture is manufactured today and how much manual work is still required in the process.
Alvar Aalto Week and its themes also prompted topical debates on the built environment in both Turku and Paimio. The importance of architecture as an element of the growth of cities was highlighted in the discussions conducted at Europe Forum organised in Turku. The unique building complex of Paimio Sanatorium with its surroundings and the extensive cultural history related to it played a prominent role during the week. Alvar Aalto Week also offered new approaches to observing our own living and operating environment. The Street-O city orienteering event in Turku, which attracted 111 participants, deserves a special mention. At the event, each participant was given a publication introducing Alvar Aalto.
”Alvar Aalto Week successfully claimed its place as part of the busy week of city events at the end of August. I believe there has been a permanent increase in residents’ interest in Alvar Aalto and architecture. What I found delightful about the diversity of the week was our successful collaboration with Paimio,” says Timo Hintsanen, Director of Urban Planning at the City of Turku.
Paimio praises the excellent cooperation with local actors, in particular. ”We are also happy about the new openings with Turku and found the bus transports organised between Turku and Paimio during the week a very good solution. They brought the programme offered closer to those people in Turku who would otherwise have found it difficult to reach the events organised in the surroundings of Paimio Sanatorium,” says Jouni Lehtiranta, Cultural Affairs Officer at the Municipality of Paimio. The organisers in both Paimio and Turku are delighted that Alvar Aalto Week made fruitful collaboration between the two closely situated Alvar Aalto cities possible.
Next year’s Alvar Aalto Week in Pori and Eura will be an ode to everyday beauty
Alvar Aalto Week 2020 will be organised in Pori and Eura between 22 and 30 August. The focus of attention will naturally be Villa Mairea, an Alvar Aalto site in Noormarkku, Pori, and several sites in Kauttua, Eura, the most famous of which is the Terraced House. The theme of the week will be Aalto in everyday life.
”Alvar Aalto has specifically designed the sites in Pori and Eura to be used as homes. A sauna designed by Alvar and Aino Aalto can also be found in Kauttua. For one week, there will be an opportunity to peek into these everyday environments that still serve as homes, saunas and accommodation facilities. During the week, we also want to organise side events showing how Aalto and design in general have affected our everyday life and continue to do so,” explains Sirpa Wahlqvist, Director of Cultural Services Eura.
An extensive programme is being planned for Pori and Eura. Local actors are encouraged to generate ideas and organise events or campaigns of their own under the theme Aalto in everyday life.
“The week will enliven the end of the summer in Pori and Eura. It will be interesting, as it will provide people with a new kind of awareness of the Alvar Aalto sights in the region. The main focus of the week will be on Alvar Aalto and everyday architecture, but the programme will also offer a wide range of cultural experiences from concerts to culinary events and from games for the whole family to original sightseeing tours, which make up a unique programme that has been prepared together with local actors,” explains Jyri Träskelin, Head of the Cultural Unit from the City of Pori. The Municipality of Eura and the City of Pori will be responsible for the arrangements for the week, together with the Alvar Aalto Foundation and numerous collaborative partners.
The different Alvar Aalto cities around Finland take turns in organising Alvar Aalto Week and the host is always the city chairing the Network of Alvar Aalto Cities that year. “The greatest thing about the event is that the week offers an opportunity to promote Aalto’s architecture and design and make the activities of the Network of Alvar Aalto Cities visible to the general public”, says Tommi Lindh, Managing Director of Alvar Aalto Foundation.
The programme of Alvar Aalto Week 2020 will be published in the spring at www.alvaraalto.fi/alvaraaltoviikko
For more information, please contact:
Nina Heikkonen, Programme Manager, Alvar Aalto Foundation, firstname.lastname@example.org
Timo Hintsanen, Director of Urban Planning, City of Turku, email@example.com
Jouni Lehtiranta, Cultural Affairs Officer, Municipality of Paimio, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jyri Träskelin, Head of the Cultural Unit, City of Pori, email@example.com
Sirpa Wahlqvist, Director of Cultural Services, Municipality of Eura, firstname.lastname@example.org
Magni Mundi / Rockphoto.fi
Samy Kramer / Kramer Productions