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March 12th – 14th 2012, Seinäjoki and Jyväskylä, Finland

The Alvar Aalto Foundation, Aalto University, Tampere University of Technology and the City of Seinäjoki arranged a three-day Alvar Aalto Researchers’ Network Conference in Seinäjoki and Jyväskylä on March 12-14, 2012. This was a multidisciplinary academic seminar at which architects, researchers, historians and others interested in the subject presented their contributions to the discourse about Aalto.

The goal of the Conference was to strengthen the community of International Alvar Aalto Researchers and share information about ongoing research projects. The sessions included 24 research papers on Alvar Aalto’s architecture and design. The speakers were from all over the world including Australia and the USA.

The programme also included visits to the Aalto sites in Alajärvi and Säynätsalo and Alvar Aalto Museum Archives in Jyväskylä.

Organizing and academic committee

Susanna Pettersson, Director, Alvar Aalto Museum
Aino Niskanen, Professor, Helsinki University of Technology
Ari Hynynen, Professor, Tampere University of Technology and City of Seinäjoki
Olli-Paavo Koponen, Professor, Tampere University of Technology


Originally, a number of the working papers and presentations from the Alvar Aalto Researchers’ Network Conference 2012 were published in an e-journal With discontinuing the e-journal, the working papers and one keynote were relocated into this page. See programme below for the published seminar presentations.

Editor-in-chief: Susanna Pettersson Editor: Tomi Summanen
Published 1.2.2013 (Working papers) and 29.5.2013 (Keynote)
ISSN-L 2323-6906
ISSN 2323-6906


Monday, March 12th

8.30-9.00              Registration and coffee
9.00- 9.15             Ari Hynynen: Welcome and the opening of the seminar
9.15-10.00            Susanna Pettersson: Historiographical notions
9.00-10.45            Aino Niskanen: Aalto and History
10.45-11.45          Petra Ceferin: The Working of Architecture: Aalto’s Extended Rationalism

12.00-13.30          Lunch
13.30-14.30          Nicholas Ray: The Relevance of Alvar Aalto

14.45-17.00          SESSIONS

A Moderator Esa Laaksonen
John Gamble: Aalto’s Inclusive Formal Structures: The Villa Mairea
Patricia Miguel: Scandinavian time, the voyage of Raúl Hestnes Ferreira to Finland and the inference of Alvar Aalto’s work in Portuguese architecture during the Post-War period
Harry Charrington: An Agency of Endless Play: Alvar Aalto & Frederick Kiesler
Antonello Alici: Aino Marsio and Alvar Aalto: the discovery of Italy (1921-1949)

B Moderator Aino Niskanen
Anni Vartola: The Aalto Card in the Conflict between Postmodernism and the Modernist Tradition in Finland
Antony Radford: Responsive Cohesion in the Form Language of the Aalto Ateliers
Pekka Passinmäki: The Trout, the Stream, and the Letting-Be. Alvar Aalto’s Contribution to the Poetic Tradition of Architecture
Virginia Cartwright: Themes of Light. Aalto’s Libraries from Viipuri to Mt. Angel

C Moderator Olli-Paavo Koponen
Pirjo Mikkonen: Kainula – hiljainen Aalto
Catarina Gomes Sampaio: Alvar Aalto and Álvaro Siza: theory and project methodology
Mihoko Ando: The Idea of the Primary Stage in Alvar Aalto’s Drawings. Through the Analysis of the Design Process of “Vuoksenniska Church (1955-1958)”
Jaime J. Ferrer Forés: Alvar Aalto and Jean-Jacques Baruël
Nina Stritzler-Levine: Artek, The Aaltos, and The Turn to California

17.00-18.00          Site visit to the old and new Seinäjoki libraries
19.00- 20.30         Reception by the City of Seinäjoki

Tuesday, March 13th

9.00-9.45              Renja Suominen-Kokkonen: Aino and Alvar Aalto, a shared history
9.45-10.45            Eeva Liisa Pelkonen: Aalto and the Geopolitics of Architecture
10.45-12.30          Aalto´s Seinäjoki, a short introduction and visit to different Aalto sights
12.30-13.45          Lunch
13.45-14.15          Markku Norvasuo: On light in Aalto buildings
14.15-15.15          Natalia Dushkina: Paimio Hospital and Vyborg library, questions of authenticity and repair
15.15-15.30          Comments by Maija Kairamo

15.30-17.30          SESSIONS

D Moderator Sirkka-Liisa Jetsonen
Ursula Koren: Artefact vs. Nature: A Study of Aalto’s proposal for the Palace of Nations’ in Geneve
Peter MacKeith: Pedagogical Paradigms: Aalto’s University of Technology at Otaniemi and Mies Van Der Rohe’s Illinois Institute of Technology
Laura Berger: The Case of Aalto Library, Vyborg, Russia
Rainier Hodde: Aalto, his row houses and their inhabitants

E Moderator Ari Hynynen
Cecilia Ruiloba Quecedo: The Functionalist awakening of Alvar Aalto in the Kinkomaa Tuberculosis Sanatorium. Each thing in its place and a distinctive aesthetic for each one
Marianna Heikinheimo: The reinforced concrete frame of the Paimio Sanatorium
Gevork Hartoonian / Utomo Nugroho: Topology in the Architecture of Alvar Aalto
Seija Linnanmäki: Aalto’s ideas on air-conditioning – how Finland became a “Fanland”?
Marco Iuliano: Aalto meets Le Corbusier, or the photographic encounter

F Moderator Aino Niskanen
Tuomo Hirvonen: Complexity and Contradictions in the Architecture of the Main Building of the College of Education at Jyväskylä
Miguel Araújo: The work of Alvar Aalto’s collaborator Eric Adlercreutz
Ana da Costa e Silva: Wood and Domestic architecture in Aalto’s work: Some influences on Portuguese Architecture
Kristo Vesikansa: Aalto’s Finnish followers and the natural form
Ulrike Passe: Alvar Aalto’s open plan architecture as an environmental technology device

17.30-18.30          Round table discussion: Aalto researchers network and the potential of a new Aalto exhibition

Wednesday, March 14th

8.00                      Departure from Seinäjoki
9.00                      Arrival to Alajärvi
9.00-10.30            Visit the sites in Alajärvi
10.30                    Departure to Jyväskylä
12.30                    Arrival to Jyväskylä and lunch
14.00-17.00          Explore the contents of the Aalto archives, get access to the back stage and visit the storages, and meet the museum and archive personnel.
18.30                    Ola Kolehmainen exhibition opening at the Alvar Aalto Museum
~22.00                  Bus arrives at Helsinki