Skip to main content


The Studio Aalto exhibition gives visitors a chance to view competition entries submitted by students on the international 2011–12 Wood Program at the Department of Architecture at Aalto University. The object of the competition was a new smoke sauna (savusauna) for the grounds of the Muuratsalo Experimental House designed by Alvar Aalto. The exhibition contains a total of 18 designs for a new sauna. The designs are displayed on placards and in scale models.

The remit for the project was to design a high-quality wooden building that also comments on the Finnish smoke-sauna tradition. The works have been inspired by the smoke sauna designed by Aalto at the Muuratsalo Experimental House.

Koe. 2011–12 Wood Program

The 2011–12 Wood Program involves constructing the winning competition entry as an experimental wooden building. In December 2011, one of the students’ sauna proposals, Koe, was chosen to be built. The possibility of constructing the sauna in the grounds of the Muuratsalo Experimental House is currently being investigated.

The Muuratsalo Experimental House (1952–54) near Jyväskylä was Alvar and Elissa Aalto’s summer home. When designing it, Aalto carefully studied ways of the siting the building in the terrain. At the sketch stage, the set of buildings to be placed in the landscape of Lake Päijänne already included, not just the main house, but also a shoreside sauna, plus a boat and swimming jetty by the shallow bay and rocky shore. The relationship with the surrounding nature is extremely important in what is one of Aalto’s most important works.

Aalto’s original log-built smoke sauna was drawn in 1953–54 and built on natural rock. The sauna is a fluent combination of the folk building tradition and Aalto’s characteristic flexible design.

Experimenting with Tradition

A New Savusauna for Muuratsalo


Studio Aalto, Tiilimäki 20, Helsinki

The exhibition can be viewed as part of guided architecture tours of the Studio. Enquiries and reservations:

More information: Mia Hipeli,

Project blog: