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How much does architecture weigh when the future of the entire planet is at stake? What is the role of architecture and design amidst environmental crises, catastrophes and political upheaval? The 16th Alvar Aalto Symposium – Weight of Architecture, 22.–23.8.2024, Jyväskylä, gathers together top international and domestic speakers and a live audience to ponder on topical global problems, changes and extreme phenomena that are impacting the building sector and the work of architects and other designers.

The overall theme of the symposium will be discussed under three specific subthemes – ERA.

1. ENVIRONMENT: climate emergency, regenerative architecture, global operating environment
2. RESOURCES: material resources, data, AI.
3. ARCHITECTURE: tools and solutions, new horizons, the weight of architecture.

The event is a hybrid and mainly in English. The public presentations from the University of Jyväskylä’s Main Building (Alvar Aalto 1954-55) are also streamed for a global virtual audience.

Two summer days in August, with top presentations in English: Pritzker Prize awarded architects Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara from Grafton Architects, Dublin; architectural historian Barnabas Calder from the University of Liverpool; director of IIASA John Schellnhuber from Laxenburg, Vienna; Associate Professor David Benjamin from Columbia University GSAPP, NY; Founder of Biohm Ehab Sayed from London; architect and philanthropy project manager Thomas Brogren from Realdania, Copenhagen; architect and writer Professor Helena Mattsson of KTH School of Architecture, Stockholm. From Finland: architects Juho Grönholm, Antti Nousjoki and Samuli Woolston from ALA Architects, CEO Hilda Rantanen from Materialisting, and architects Emma Johansson and Willem van Bolderen from Studio Puisto, among others. Read more about the presenters and follow this spring’s new programme updates online here.

The 15th Alvar Aalto Medal will be awarded on 22.8.2024 on the opening day of the symposium. This internationally prestigious architecture prize is awarded jointly by the Alvar Aalto Foundation, the Museum of Finnish Architecture and Design Museum, the Finnish Architectural Society, the Finnish Association of Architects, and the City of Helsinki.

Welcome to the symposium to network and enjoy the rich side programme, including Alvar Aalto architectural tours. The side events start already on Wednesday 21.8. with a lake cruise to Muuratsalo, the site of Aalto’s Experimental House (bus transport is arranged from Helsinki to the boat). After the symposium, on Saturday 24.8., the programme will continue with guided bus tours of Aalto West (Villa Mairea and Paimio Sanatorium) and Aalto East (Church of the Three Crosses, Imatra and the Sunila housing area). There are limited places for the side events, so secure your tickets here promptly.

The Alvar Aalto Symposium is an international discussion forum on contemporary architecture and environmental issues, which is organized every third year. The event is organized by the Alvar Aalto Academy, which focuses on continuing education in the conservation of modern architecture as well as seminar events, as part of the Alvar Aalto Foundation.

The Alvar Aalto Symposium’s main partner is the City of Jyväskylä. Partners in the collaboration also include Aalto University and Cumulus Association, Archinfo, the Museum of Finnish Architecture and the Design Museum, the Finnish Architects’ Association SAFA. Would you like to join the 2024 Alvar Aalto Symposium as a partner? Read more here about partner benefits and event cooperation. Contact us asap at

Join us! The 16th Alvar Aalto Symposium ticket shop and web page open HERE.


Nina Heikkonen, Programme Manager
Alvar Aalto Foundation
+358 44 500 1257

Aila Svenskberg
Event Communications, Editor
Alvar Aalto Foundation
+358 40 659 1930



Seminar audience on the amphitheatre seating on the yard side of the University of Jyväskylä’s Main Building. Photo Olli-Pekka Orpo © Alvar Aalto Foundation.