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Continuing our series of exhibitions on the careers of architects who have worked for Aalto’s architectural office, starting in November, we will be taking a closer look at Veli Paatela. Paatela worked for Aalto’s office for a couple of years, 1946–1948. He spent the entire time in Cambridge, Massachusetts, acting as Alvar Aalto’s representative and overseeing the design and construction of the Baker House Senior Dormitory at MIT. The US architects Perry, Shaw and Hepburn were the local firm responsible for the construction, while Aalto himself only spent brief periods on site.

MIT Baker House Dormitory. Photo: Teppo Jokinen / Alvar Aalto Museum.

Paatela’s employment by Aalto’s office was to be brief, since he returned to Finland to carry on working at his family’s own office, Paatela Architects. Nevertheless, he and Alvar Aalto remained lifelong friends, and he was a frequent visitor to Aalto’s architectural office.

At the Studio Aalto exhibition archive material will provide insights into this building near Boston and into Veli Paatela’s role in Aalto’s architectural office.

Architect Veli Paatela – Alvar Aalto’s right-hand man in Cambridge


Studio Aalto, Tiilimäki 20, Helsinki

Enquiries: Chief curator Mia Hipeli, tel. +358 400 883 463,, Alvar Aalto Museum