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3rd Alvar Aalto Researchers Network Seminar - Why Aalto? Jyväskylä 9-10 June 2017

The 3rd Researchers Network Seminar – Why Aalto? was an international, academic seminar focusing on the research of architect Alvar Aalto. The seminar was arranged by the Alvar Aalto Academy in collaboration with the City of Jyväskylä. The seminar programme included keynote speeches and presentations based on selected papers.


Alvar Aalto Academy invites researchers and practitioners to come to a research seminar and explore the question: Why Aalto? The question provokes to ponder Aalto´s meaning for today´s architecture from a variety of perspectives. What are the special challenges of preservation, conservation, renovation or transformation of buildings or sites designed by Aalto?

How to adapt to the challenges of reuse, accessibility or new technical installations? Are there new conceptions to Aalto´s set of values or theoretical thinking? What can we learn from specific topics of Aalto´s design in today´s context, such as relationship to sustainability and nature or meaning of history and local traditions?


FRIDAY 9 June 2017


09:00-11:00 Architecture excursions: Muuratsalo Experimental House and the Campus area of the University of Jyväskylä

12:30-15:00 OPENING OF THE SEMINAR, SESSION 1, Chair, Professor Markku Hedman

13:00-14:00 Invited lecturer, Architect David Fixler Renewing Aalto’s Prophetic Statement – the Renovation of Baker House at MIT
14:00-14:30 Chiu Chen-Yu Aalto through young Utzon’s eyes:
The role of Alvar Aalto in developing the maturity of Jørn Utzon’s work
14:30-15:00 Ari Hynynen From Alvar Aalto to Network City – Reflections from the 1940s Kokemäenjoki regional plan

15:00-15:30 Coffee break

15:30-17:10 HERITAGE – SESSION 2 Moderator, Professor Olli-Paavo Koponen

15:30-15:50 Mihoko Ando Aalto’s Reprise and Continuity: A study of the design process for three churches in the 1950s
15:50-16:10 Laura Berger ARTEK – Furnishing a nation
16:10-16:30 Roula El Khoury Fayad Aalto in Beirut] Contribution, Collaboration and Continuity: The Case of Sabbag Center
16:30-16:50 Gareth Griffiths Alvar Aalto and the design for the Israel Conservatory of Music in Tel Aviv, Israel – A footnote in Aalto scholarship
16:50-17:10 Fransesca Piccolo Identification and conservation in Alvar Aalto’s industrial sites: The case of Toppila Pulp Mill

19:00-20:00 Evening programme at Alvar Aalto Museum

SATURDAY 10 June 2017


09:00-11:30 PROSPECTS – SESSION 3 Moderator, Professor Anna-Maija Ylimaula

09:00-09:30 Sofia Singler and Nicholas Ray Why Aalto? The sceptic builds for religion
09:30-10:00 Eva Eylers Alvar Aalto and the problem of architectural research

10:00-10:30 Coffee break

10:30-10:50 Jonathan Boelkins Designation – Lessons in Digital Construction from Villa Mairea
10:50-11:10 Holger Hoffmann Alvar Aalto’s associative geometries
11:10-11:30 Gianni Talamini Against Aalto: How the Finnish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale had to change into a black box for contemporary video art and how it became a symbol for artists to defeat

11:30-13:00 Lunch break

13:00-14:20 ATMOSPHERE – SESSION 3 Moderator, Professor Ari Hynynen

13:00-13:20 Eymen Homsi The textured surfaces of Muuratsalo
13:20-13:40 Szymon Ruszczewski Mediterranean piazza – Public space in Aalto’s designs
13:40-14:00 Kristopher Steele The Power of Light In Darkness
14:00-14:20 John Roberts Aalto Landscape Ruins Chora

15:00-16:00 Coffee break and Säynätsalo Town Hall Workshop presentation

16:00-17:00 Public lecture – Invited lecturer, Architect Jenni Reuter