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Paimio Sanatorium, an early major work by Alvar Aalto, is the subject of an exhibition on show in the Gallery at the Alvar Aalto Museum from 12 February to 10 April 2016. The exhibition is based on a conservation management plan prepared for the first time in Finland. The plan involves the most detailed investigation so far of the hospital, which was built for tuberculosis patients.


Paimio Sanatorium, credit: Gustaf Welin / Alvar Aalto Museum

Paimio Sanatorium, credit: Gustaf Welin / Alvar Aalto Museum.

In the early 20th century, pulmonary tuberculosis was one of the main causes of death for young people in Finland and other industrialised countries in Europe. State funding mandated by law was used for building several sanatoriums for thousands of tuberculosis patients in different parts of Finland. One of Alvar Aalto’s best-known works, Paimio Sanatorium was completed in 1933. With its adjoining hospital complex, the functionalist sanatorium is one of Finland’s most significant architectural environments.

The exhibition presents the various stages and historical layers of the sanatorium with reference to Finland’s first architectural conservation management plan. The plan, which is pending the approval of the project’s steering group, provides new detailed information on the sanatorium. Paimio Sanatorium is a total work of art whose architecture, interiors and lighting and even its aural environment were designed to support the recuperation and rest of patients.

“The conservation management plan is a tool for the care of architectural heritage. The plan for Paimio Sanatorium contains, among other features, a comprehensive colour research, a study of the technical design of ventilation and a survey of alterations made to the building. The sanatorium has never been investigated in such detail before. While pending official approval from its steering group, the conservation management plan for Paimio Sanatorium has now been sent to the owner of the facility for decisions on required action”, notes Tommi Lindh, Director of the Alvar Aalto Foundation.

Paimio Sanatorium, credit: Gustaf Welin / Alvar Aalto Museum.

Paimio Sanatorium, credit: Gustaf Welin / Alvar Aalto Museum.

”Since the exhibition is based on the conservation plan, we are able to present the work of the Alvar Aalto Foundation in broader perspective. Paimio Sanatorium exhibition is a fascinating combination of our museum activities and work on behalf of the architectural heritage”, says Lindh.

The exhibition design makes prominent use of photographs and drawings among other material. Also on display are unique one-off items of furniture designed by Aino and Alvar Aalto that have not been previously seen outside Paimio Sanatorium. A reconstruction of a patients’ room at Paimio is also on show in the permanent exhibition of the Alvar Aalto Museum.

In 2014, the Getty Foundation chose Paimio Sanatorium as one of the ten pilot projects of its Keeping It Modern initiative which aims to find new methods and renovation standards for the care of works of the modern architectural heritage. The conservation management plan will be implemented with the aid of a grant awarded by the Getty Foundation.

Keeping It Modern
12 February –10 April 2016
Alvar Aalto Museum Gallery
Alvar Aallon katu 7, Jyväskylä
Open Tues–Sun 11–18

The opening of the exhibition will take place at 6 pm. on Thursday, 11 February 2011 in the Gallery at the Alvar Aalto Museum.

Further information and requests for press images, please contact: 
Annukka Pakarinen, Communications, Alvar Aalto Foundation, annukka.pakarinen(at),
tel. +358 (0)50 3810143