Villa Skeppet – Aalto’s personal design journey

This journey offers a unique insight into a residence that blends Mediterranean warmth with Aalto’s signature Nordic touch. Explore rooms where architecture tells personal stories, spaces that pulsate with intimate narratives. As well as observing architectural excellence, explore how thoughtful design can create environments that echo with personal histories and deepen our appreciation for the transformative power of architecture.

Experience a guided tour of Villa Skeppet, where Aalto’s personal touch and Mediterranean influences are evident. Discover the unique history of a home designed as a token of friendship and explore the various architectural solutions that Aalto developed throughout his illustrious career.

Artisans and Aalto retreat in Raseborg

Retreat to the picturesque Raseborg, where architecture and artisanry coalesce with the splendour of nature.

Begin your escape in the coastal charm of Ekenäs, witnessing Alvar Aalto’s smallscale architectural wonders like Villa Skeppet. Then, journey to the historic Fiskars Village, a cradle of Finnish art and design. Here, amidst the legacy of ironworks, discover the vibrancy of local craft, and let each boutique and
workshop unveil a story of tradition and innovation. This retreat is an invitation to experience the integration of creativity and natural beauty.

Tour in brief: Redesign your retreat with Raseborg’s unique blend of Alvar Aalto’s architecture, local art, and crafts. Day one immerses you in Ekenäs’ architectural treasures like Villa Skeppet, Chappe and local culinary delights. Day two invites you to the artistic Fiskars Village, a historic ironworks site now bustling with workshops and boutiques.

Cultural Tour of Western Finland

This seven-night tour allows you to discover the top cultural sights in Western Finland. You can begin your tour from Turku or Vaasa as both towns are connected to Sweden by car ferry (Viking LineTallink Silja or Wasaline). You may head in either direction and take the tour throughout the year. You can manage the duration and route according to your own timetable.

Ekenäs Savings Bank

Alvar Aalto was chosen to design Ekenäs Savings Bank in 1962. The bank is located right in the center of Ekenäs town, within Raseborg city. From the market place of Ekenäs, the bank appears to be a two-storey building, but actually it has three stories altogether. The impressive marble façade, opening to the side of the market place of Ekenäs, is similar in style to the Enso-Gutzeit main building in Katajanokka, Helsinki. The other facades of the building are slammed brick. Alvar Aalto was given complete freedom in the design process; most of the interior spaces and furnishings are also his creation.

Construction began officially in the summer of 1967, and was completed in November of the same year with the roofing, followed by celebrations. The first tenants of the building gradually moved in as early as February 1968, while the bank’s operations did not move into the premises until March 1969. In 1967, the name competition for the new bank building was also announced, won by the Ekecenter – Tammikeskus. The official inauguration of the bank building was held on the 110th anniversary of the Savings Bank in August 1969. Drawings for the second phase of Aalto’s project were published in 1976. Extension work was completed in 1986 under supervision of architect Sverker Gardberg.

Ekenäs Savings Bank still operates in the building. The bank hall is located on the ground floor and a lunch restaurant called Piazza is located on the third floor of the building. The building has included restaurant services since 1968.

Aalto also designed a restaurant to the upper floor of the bank building. Nowadays restaurant Piazza, with interiors inspired by Aalto, welcomes lunch goers

Restaurant Piazza also offers, upon request, a special Bank Manager menu, alongside a brief introduction to the interesting history of the building.

The Bank Manager’s menu includes:

  • Appetizer served to tables (mushroom soup served in a cup)
  • Main course from the buffet (fish, vegetable or meat option)
  • Desserts served to tables (small treat)

The Bank Manager’s menu features high-quality, locally produced ingredients and includes favourite delicacies selected by the current Bank Manager at the Ekenäs Savings Bank. The price for the dinner is € 35 per person. The Piazza is also suitable for groups (a minimum of 10 people) throughout the year, from 4 pm to 8 pm on weekdays or at weekends, and also during lunch time.

In addition to the dining experience, you can also have a guided tour of the old town of Ekenäs. Guided tours can be ordered in Finnish, Swedish and English. Another design by Alvar Aalto, Villa Skeppet, is located within walking distance from the old town. Villa Skeppet will open to the public in December 2020. 

Inquiries and reservations to the Piazza restaurant are handled by Päivi Purontaus, tel +358 50 387 1277, email

Villa Skeppet

Villa Skeppet was the last home Alvar Aalto designed. Almost all the ideas and solutions that Aalto developed during his career are seen in Villa Skeppet. Aalto designed this house in for his friends the author Göran Schildt and his wife Christine. Göran Schildt’s passions in life; sailing and his love for Mediterranean culture were taken into consideration when Aalto designed the architecture and the furnishings for Villa Skeppet. Villa Skeppet is situated on a nearly level, park-like site with a view across the eastern bay harbour of the idyllic small town.

The lower parts of the villa are built of white rendered brick, whereas the large, fan-like living room which rises above the entrance and garage front is a timber construction, clad with vertical weatherboarding. The living room, which opens onto a wedge-shaped balcony, has large landscape windows on the sea side and an open fireplace designed by Aalto as an abstract sculpture.

Göran Schild alongside with his wife would residence Villa Skeppet mainly during summer. For this reason, the building has retained nearly its original condition. Nowadays the building is owned by the The Christine and Göran Schildt Foundation. It opened its doors to public momentarily for the first time in 2018. After renovations Villa Skeppet will be open for public permanently in 2020.

The living room is integrated with the central hall by means of a common ceiling borne by monumental beams, open balustrades, and two stair landings. The hall also provides access to the author’s quiet study, the bedroom, and the combined dining room and kitchen. The sauna is in a separate wooden wing linked to the main building by a latticework wall and a baldachin, both in free form.

In the centre of the inner yard is an amoeba-shaped lily pond and behind it a shed with a summer dining room. A lot of attention were also given to the landscaping designs. The garden is shielded from view by several screens consisting of diagonally placed vertical boards.