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“Central Finland frequently reminds one of Tuscany, the homeland of towns built on hills, which should provide an indication of how classically beautiful our province could be if built up properly.” Alvar Aalto 1925

This exhibition opens a window on some of Alvar Aalto’s unrealised visions and on some of his designs for Jyväskylä, which became reality. Aalto took the first steps of his career as an architect in the city for which he designed dozens of buildings and other projects between the 1920s and the 1970s. In the mind of the architect, the lush, rolling landscape of Central Finland could be compared with the hills of Tuscany. Aalto had an important role as someone who helped to develop the Jyväskylä townscape – indeed the city has a unique and comprehensive display of his architecture from every decade of his career.

To Aalto, Jyväskylä and Central Finland were home, the calf country that was intertwined with his personal history. The schoolboy years of his childhood and youth, the early stages of his career, the establishment of a home and family with the architect Aino Marsio in the 1920s all helped to create a close relationship with the city. Although the path he trod soon led him away to live in the capital and pursue his career there, his work drew him back to Central Finland over and over again. The summer villa he shared with his second wife Elissa, the Muuratsalo Experimental House, on an island in Lake Päijänne strengthened the link with Central Finland from the 1940s and 1950s onwards.

Alvar Aalto’s interest in Antique culture, especially that of Italy, comes to the fore in some of his earliest designs. Jyväskylä has often been called ‘The Athens of the North’, but Aalto thought that ‘The Florence of the North’ was a better description of the city. Some of the designs which took flight from the architect’s drawing board were never realised. The fate of others was demolition or destruction for some other reason. This exhibition of ‘lost Jyväskylä and lesser-known Aalto’ which is now opening to the public, is a collection of architectural drawings, photographs and objects from the collections of the Alvar Aalto Museum and the deepest recesses of its archives.

Read more from the press release.

The exhibition opening is on Thursday, September 28, 2017 at 18.00. The exhibition will be opened by Chairman of the Jyväskylä City Board Meri Lumela. Welcome!

The Florence of the North – Alvar Aalto’s architecture in Jyväskylä

29.9.2017 – 4.3.2018 Alvar Aalto Museum Gallery
Alvar Aallon katu 7, Jyväskylä, Finland
open Tues–Sun at 11–18

For further information, please contact:
Curator Mari Murtoniemi, Alvar Aalto Museum
Tel.  +358 40 355 9162