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Spring brings gardens to the Alvar Aalto Museum Gallery in Jyväskylä, April 15–May 29, 2016. The touring exhibition “Down the Stairs to a Shady Grove” presents a dozen Finnish sites where the architecture and the surrounding gardens form total works of art that express the zeitgeist.

VALLILAN SUURPIHAKORTTELI, Helsinki 1916- 17/1927-29 Arkkitehdit: Armas Lindgren ja Bertel Liljequist Puutarhasuunnittelu: Elisabeth Koch Kuva: Aukusti Heinonen

Kuva: Aukusti Heinonen

The exhibition shows small-scale gardens side by side with landscaping projects and green-zone planning for entire city districts. It urges visitors to ponder the dialogue between buildings and landscape.

In addition to well-known gardens, such as those of the Finnish president’s summer residence Kultaranta and the Monrepos Park in Vyborg, there are sites designed for housing projects and everyday use, such as the residential area at the Sunila pulp mill designed by Alvar Aalto and the Vallila district in Helsinki with large inner courtyards. The timeline stretches from the 1700s to the present.

The exhibition sheds light on the subtle link between the garden and the natural landscape, and provides an intriguing look at the designers of the buildings and gardens.

“For instance, in Aalto’s work, the relationship between garden and architecture shaped by people is always finely deliberated. Aalto considered the garden to be one of the rooms of the house,” says Mari Murtoniemi, Curator of the Alvar Aalto Museum.

The Alvar Aalto Museum will augment the exhibition with lots of related events, including a “Miniature Garden” workshop and a lecture entitled “In search of the modern garden”, by Julia Donner, one of the exhibition’s curators.

“It is a pleasure to host this touring exhibition just now, when gardens are at their busiest time of year,” Murtoniemi says. “We hope that this glimpse into Finnish garden design, together with the accompanying programme, will provide inspiration to all home gardeners and greenthumbs.”

The exhibition has been produced by the Museum of Finnish Architecture (MFA). It has been curated by the head of archives at the MFA Elina Standertskjöld (Phil. Lic.) and researcher Julia Donner (PhD), with exhibition architecture by architect Hannele Grönlund. It has been supported by the Kone Foundation, Sigurd Frosterus Foundation, Maiju and Yrjö Rikala Garden Foundation and Durat.

Down the Stairs to a Shady Grove
Dialogues in Finnish Garden Design and Architecture
April 15–May 29, 2016
Alvar Aalto Museum Gallery
Alvar Aallon katu 7, Jyväskylä, Finland
Open Tuesday-Sunday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

The opening will be on Thursday, April 14, 2016, at 6 p.m. in the Alvar Aalto Museum Gallery.

Further information and requests for press images, please contact:
Annukka Pakarinen
Communications, Alvar Aalto Foundation
tel. +358 (0)50 381 0143