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Aalto Beyond Finland - Architecture and Design

The network’s second seminar, the 2015 researchers’ conference Aalto beyond Finland. Architecture and Design, was organized in Rovaniemi City Hall on 16–18.2.2015. It was arranged by the Alvar Aalto Foundation in collaboration with the City of Rovaniemi.

The academic working group for the seminar comprised the Director of the Alvar Aalto Academy Esa Laaksonen, Professor Panu Lehtovuori (Tampere University of Technology), Professor Aino Niskanen (Aalto University) and Dr Silvia Micheli (School of Architecture, University of Queensland, Australia).

The programme included 36 selected papers, as well as several keynote speeches. The researchers came from different parts of the world and their research topics dealt variously with the impact of Alvar Aalto’s life’s work outside Finland. The keynote speakers were Finnish and foreign experts on Alvar Aalto’s work.

The seminar was followed by two voluntary excursions, not included on the registration fee. The first, on 18–20.2.2015, was a tour of the architecture of Oulu, Seinäjoki and Alajärvi. Most of the sites visited were designed by Alvar Aalto, and the trip ended in Helsinki. The second was a daytrip to the Alvar Aalto Library in Vyborg on 21.2.2015.


Day 1 – Seminar excursion and opening at the Rovaniemi City Hall

11.00 Esa Laaksonen and Charlotte Malaprade Introduction to the city excursion
11.10  Eeva Snellman Walking with Alvar Aalto
11.30  Tommi Lindh (Alvar Aalto Foundation) Aalto renovation program in Rovaniemi

12.00  Excursion starts in front of the City Hall (SHARP). Visit to Alvar Aalto’s buildings in Rovaniemi according to the excursion program (will be delivered at introduction)
15.00 Excursion ends
16.00  Seminar registration starts

Council Hall, Chair Silvia Micheli
16.30  Esa Laaksonen (Alvar Aalto Academy) Opening words of the seminar
16.40 Silvia Micheli (The University of Queensland) Presentation of the Book of Proceedings
17.00  Eric Adlercreutz (A-konsultit Architects, Finland) My Aalto
18.00  Pause, Charlotte Malaprade tours 1 (18.00) and 2 (18.30) inside the City Hall
19.15  Esko Lotvonen (Mayor, City of Rovaniemi) Welcome speech
19.25 Tarja Outila (Rovaniemi City Planning Office) Rovaniemi planning history
19.45  Reception of the City of Rovaniemi at the City Hall
22.00 End of Day 1

Day 2 ­– Aalto in the International context at the Rovaniemi City Hall

Council Hall, Chair Esa Laaksonen
09.00  Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen (Yale University) Empathetic Affinities
09.45  Silvia Micheli Aalto’s trip to Italy: A conditio sine qua non
10.30  Coffee break

Council Hall, Chair Silvia Micheli
11.00  Peter Blundell Jones (University of Sheffield) Aalto in the European context during the 1930s
11.30  Juhana Lahti (Museum of Finnish Architecture, Helsinki) Aalto and colleagues visiting Germany 1943
12.00 Rasmus Wærn (Wingårdh architects, Stockholm) Aalto in Sweden
12.30 Lunch break at Antell, City Hall
13.30 Charlotte Malaprade tour 3 at the City Hall

Council Hall and Meeting rooms B, C and D
14.00  4 parallel sessions, first 3 papers
15.30  Pause
16.00  4 parallel sessions, second 2 papers

Session A (Council Hall)
Aalto’s legacy abroad, Chair Olli-Paavo Koponen (Tampere University of Technology)

Matt Grant (Peddle Thorp Architects) The influence of Alvar Aalto on New Zealand architecture: Rod Smith and the architectural firm of Smith Clarke Grant and Associates (1965-69)
Antony Radford (The University of Adelaide) Dickson and Platten, Romaldo Giurgola, and Aalto’s Influence in Australia
Vladimir Frolov (Project Baltia review) Alvar Aalto and Alexandr Zhuk: Nordic trend in late Soviet Leningrad architecture and the resistance to the modernism
Lucia Pérez-Moreno (Polytechnic University of Madrid) Alvar Aalto in Spain: The reading of Finnish architecture in the Spanish architectural scene in the Sixties
Dörte Kuhlmann (Vienna University of Technology) Alvar Aalto: A Finnish cosmopolitan in post-war Germany

Session B
Influences on Aalto, Chair Annamaija Ylimaula (Oulu University)

Jairo Rodriguez Andrés (Universidad de Valladolid) Aalto’s impact in post-war international architectural culture: The impact of foreign cultures on Aalto’s work
Michele Sbacchi (University of Palermo) Aalto’s Principles of urban space and planning in connection to William Wurster and Lewis Mumford
Carlotta Torricelli (University of Venice) Following the Grace: A Baltic Dialogue
Leif Högfelt Hansen (Aarhus School of Architecture) Japanese inspirations in the architecture of Alvar Aalto
Chiu Chen-Yu (Aalto University) Aalto’s private house in Riihitie (1935-36) and Tetsuro Yoshida’s Das Japanische Wohnhaus (1935): The missing link

Session C
Aalto´s impact on individual architects, Chair Panu Lehtovuori (Tampere University of Technology)

Christopher Pierce (Architectural Association) Miralles on Aalto
Maria João Soares, Clara Germana Gonçalves, Susana Santos (CITAD, Lisbon) Aalto revisited: Manuel Taínha and Álvaro Siza
Frank Weiner (Virginia Tech) More cloud than clear: Aalto’s influence on two American practices
Maria João Soares, Clara Germana Gonçalves (CITAD, Lisbon) With, through and in the forest: Aalto, Gehry and Fujimoto

Session D
Open session, Chair Aino Niskanen (Aalto University)

Sotirios Zaroulas (Milan Polytechnic) Paimio as a model
Eva Eylers (University College London) Showcasing Paimio Sanatorium: Varsinais-Suomen Tuberkuloosiparantola and its strategic role for Alvar Aalto’s international career
Michelle Laboy (Northeastern University, Boston) Modern childhood landscapes: Aino Aalto’s engagement in the international experiment of the modern nursery school
Kristo Vesikansa (Aalto University) Challenging Aalto abroad
Kurt Hunker (New School of Architecture and Design, San Diego) Aalto for Everyone

17.00  Plenary discussion on sessions in session rooms
17.40 Council Hall, Chair Silvia Micheli
17.45 Demetri Porphyrios The wonderful world of Aalto
18.45 End of Day 2

19.00 Bus from the City Hall to Ounasvaaran maja. Evening meal, possibility to sauna (towels are available)
22.30 Bus to the city

Day 3 – Aalto’s network, buildings and projects at the Rovaniemi City Hall

Council Hall, Chair Silvia Micheli
08.45  Aino Niskanen (Aalto University) Aalto research
09.30  Jochen Eisenbrand (Vitra Design Museum) Alvar Aalto – Second Nature
10.00  Nina Stritzler-Levine (The Bard Graduate Center) The Aaltos and Artek: Design, Domesticity and The Public Sphere
10.30  Coffee break

Council Hall, Chair Aino Niskanen
11.00  Marco Iuliano (Liverpool school of architecture) Avant-garde Aalto
11.30  Esa Laaksonen Maison Louis Carré
12.00 Teija Isohauta (freelance art historian)  Aalto’s travels
12.30 Lunch break at Antell, City Hall

Council Hall, Chairs Esa Laaksonen and Silvia Micheli
13.30  “Pecha Kucha” session I               12 minutes/presentation, max 10 slides

13.35 Tiziano Aglieri Rinella, (IULM University, Milan) Spreading ideas: reception and significance of Alvar Aalto’s participation in the Milan Triennale (1933-57)
13.50 Laura Berger (Aalto University) Vision, realisation and later life of two Aalto interiors in the United States: The Woodberry Poetry Room and the Edgar J. Kaufmann Conference rooms
14.05 Ulrike Passe (Iowa State University) Capturing the Nordic Light in Italy?
14.20 Antony Moulis (The University of Queensland) Relating the interior and the shell: Spatial dialogues in the work of Alvar Aalto
14.45 Virginia Cartwright (University of Oregon) Ephemeral buildings – Lasting effect: Aalto’s designs for the Paris and New York Worlds’ Fairs

15.00 Pause
16.00 “Pecha Kucha” session II              12 minutes/presentation, max 10 slides

16.05 Antony Radford (The University of Adelaide) Light, form and responsive cohesion in the North Jutland Art Museum
16.20 Cecilia Ruiloba (Valladolid University) The Zagreb Central Hospital: Similarity and proposal 16.35 Szymon Ruszczewski (University of Florence) Cultural centre in Siena
16.50 Michele Ugolini, Stefania Varvaro (Milan Polytechnic) A great ‘Cathedral of the Arts’ for Shiraz: The ground, light and shadow, the horizon

17.15  Plenary discussion on “Pecha Kucha” sessions
17.45  Walk to Korundi House of Culture

Korundi main Auditorium, Chair Esa Laaksonen
18.00  Juhani Pallasmaa Aalto’s image of the world
19.00  Silvia Micheli Seminar’s conclusions

End of Day 3 and the Seminar