Kantola Architect Brunch

The Kantola Architect Brunch is inspired by the story of Aino and Alvar Aalto, as well as the architecture of Sunila. This three-course brunch features ingredients typical of Kymenlaakso, with flavors that reflect the Italian culture Aino and Alvar adored, as well as Finnish nature and design. The taste experience is presented by Sunila’s factory manager in an apartment built for Lauri Kanto’s family. Welcome to an architecturally inspiring environment!

Kantola is designed by Alvar Aalto and completed in 1937 as the residence for Lauri Kanto, the director of the Sunila pulp mill. Today, the building is owned by Sunilan Kantola Oy and is used for meetings, parties, accommodation and other events. Kantola Architect Brunch is a collaboration between Sunilan Kantola Oy and Kat’s Cafe, which can be enjoyed on request and tailored to meet the customer’s needs.

Alvar Aalto Kymenlaakso Cycling Route

Kymenlaakso is the single region in Finland with the most buildings designed by Alvar Aalto. If Jyväskylä is called the Aalto capital, Kymenlaakso can rightly be called the Aalto region. In total, Kymenlaakso has dozens of buildings designed by Alvar Aalto: detached houses, apartment buildings and blocks of flats, as well as industrial plants.

On the cycle route you can discover Alvar Aalto’s architecture of the 1930s-1950s in Karhula, Sunila, Hamina and Inkeroinen.

Most of the buildings designed by Alvar Aalto were placed freely in the landscape, taking into account the shapes of the terrain. As a result, the connection to nature is a natural continuum for the views of the houses and apartments. Nature, light and their connection to the dwellings were important to Aalto. The overall architectural approach and the typical elements of Aalto’s formal language are repeated in all the Aalto projects in Kymenlaakso.

Aalto succeeded in adapting his buildings to nature and adding both creativity and artistry to their austere simplicity, and even today people are still attracted to Aalto buildings.

A tourist interested in architecture, history and design can easily spend several days exploring the buildings designed by Alvar Aalto, but also stay overnight in apartments designed and decorated in his style.

There are 4 areas on this route with buildings designed by Aalto:

Inkeroinen factory area

The buildings designed by Alvar Aalto for the Inkeroinen Factory Hill were completed between 1937 and 1956. The complex consists of factory buildings, semi-detached houses on the Rantalinja, terraced houses on the Tervalinja, three detached houses, three blocks of flats, a school on the Tehtaanmäki and detached houses on the Karhunkangas.

Hamina Petkele residential area

In Hamina, you can discover the environment of the Summa paper mill designed by Alvar Aalto and the housing designed by him for the paper mill workers and management in the Petkele residential area.

Apartment buildings in Karhula

Alvar Aalto’s design in Karhula is represented by the apartment buildings completed on Karhunkatu between 1945 and 1947, known as the ‘tennis houses’.

Sunila factory and working-class housing area

Alvar Aalto’s handiwork is immediately recognisable from the moment you arrive in the extensive and coherent residential area. The factory, completed in 1938, and the adjacent residential area, originally built between 1937 and 1939, form a whole whose design clearly shows the influence of Alvar Aalto’s 1930s modernism.

For more details and directions see the route in Outdoor Active

By Visit Kotka-Hamina

Villa Mairea and Ahlström Works – cultural and culinary experiences

In Noormarkku, Pori, you’ll experience a comprehensive journey into architecture and design through guided tours of the worldrenowned Villa Mairea and Ahlström’s unique historical industrial area with its museums.

This experience is a feast for the senses, combining culinary delights at Noormarkku Works area with a
journey through history, design, and architecture. Villa Mairea’s aesthetic brilliance is a tribute to Aalto’s
genius as well as the relationship between modern design and natural beauty. In Ahlström’s Noormarkku
works, come and meld culture, architecture, and gastronomy, and ask yourself how architecture can
elevate and redefine the cultural landscape.

Villa Mairea and the Ahlström Ironworks are a harmonious marriage of art, design, and industry. Designed by Alvar and Aino Aalto, Villa Mairea is an architectural gem amidst a pine forest, while the Ironworks area invites you to stroll through a living museum of industrial heritage. Together, they offer a rich cultural experience highlighting the creative synergy of Aalto’s design and Ahlström’s industrial legacy.

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.

Paimio Sanatorium

Paimio Sanatorium, Alvar and Aino Aalto’s international breakthrough design, is one of the most renowned buildings in Finland. Completed in 1933, it is a masterpiece of humane modernism and a true gesamtkunstwerk. Designed as a tuberculosis sanatorium and having served as a general hospital, Paimio Sanatorium has now entered a new era of the philosophy of well-being.

Enclosed by a vast forest of tall pine trees, the iconic site invites you to unwind in its tranquil ambiance. Explore the corridors, sense the luminous light and colors of the Sanatorium as you take a guided tour, discovering the stories of the past. A hike through nature trails or outdoor meditation, Paimio Sanatorium offers the perfect retreat to rejuvenate senses. Lenghten the stay by accommodating on-site, enjoy the local cuisine and various spaces of the Sanatorium.

Finland – Designed by Aalto

Embark on a country-spanning odyssey to discover the heart and soul of Alvar Aalto’s architectural legacy. Begin in Turku, where Aalto’s modernistic early works stand as monuments to his evolving style. Find yourself in Helsinki, where the iconic Finlandia Hall and the Academic Bookstore exemplify his philosophy of form following function. In Jyväskylä, the Aalto2 Museum awaits, a space where Aalto’s genius blurs the lines between practicality and artistry.

Journey to Säynätsalo to admire the Town Hall, a beacon of community and design, and explore the Muuratsalo Experimental House, a canvas of Aalto’s daring creativity. Venture to Kauttua Ironworks in Southwest Finland, a magnificent home to six Aalto structures, including the Terraced house and riverside sauna. Finish up at Villa Mairea, a residential marvel that harmonises with the natural world. This tour is a true tribute to Aalto’s vision, a chance to see the built environment through his transformative lens.

This five-day tour commences in Turku with Aalto’s first modernist works and progresses throug Helsinki’s iconic landmarks, such as the Finlandia Hall and the Academic Bookstore. The tour then ventures to the historically rich Kauttua Ironworks, followed by visits to Säynätsalo Town Hall and the Muuratsalo Experimental House. The excursion concludes with a tranquil stay at Villa Mairea, a serene
architectural haven.

Jyväskylä – Aalto’s Lakeland impressions

This experience is an intimate exploration of Aalto’s structural poetry: the University of Jyväskylä Campus, a testament to his genius. The serene Säynätsalo Town Hall. Then add the architectural allure of the Jyväskylä City Theatre, a stage for cultural narratives, and the spiritual resonance of Muurame Church.

Each visit isn’t to a site but to a story—a narrative shaped by Aalto’s dedication to innovation and elegance. Dive into the depths of architectural marvels and discover spaces that redefine the essence of form and function.

Discover Aalto’s diverse architectural phases in a three-day tour of the Jyväskylä region. From the early classicism to functionalism and from renowned Säynätsalo Town Hall’s architecture in brick to the Jyväskylä City Theatre’s monumentalism, this tour blends Aalto’s heritage with the Petäjävesi Old
Church’s heritage and the natural beauty of Lakeland, complemented by local hospitality.

Seaside museums – Architecture, art and home museums by the sea!

A self-guided museum tour around the Laajalahti bay, outside the usual tourist routes, reveals seven unique museum sites that can be experienced together or separately. In addition to the scenic surroundings, the sites are united under interesting architecture and the fact that they have originally been homes and / or workspaces. The Didrichsen Art Museum, Villa Gyllenberg and Gallen-Kallela museums also feature significant art collections and changing exhibitions.

In Alvar Aalto’s home and office building in Munkkiniemi you can take part in guided tours all year round. Aficionados of architecture and design will get an insight into the interesting life of the Aalto family and everyday life of architects’ office. During the visit, you can also explore the beautiful gardens surrounding the buildings.

On a guided tour in Tamminiemi you will learn about the house’s most famous and longest-lived inhabitant: president Urho Kekkonen (1900–1986), and discover the original interiors and design from the 1970s. Tamminiemi’s legendary tar-smelling, seaside sauna can also be visited during the summer season.

The nearby Seurasaari open-air museum comes alive in the summer. The beautiful and fascinating traditional Finnish buildings, immersed into the magnificent natural setting of the island, constitute a favourite destination for both Helsinki locals and travellers around.

There are as many as two high-quality art museums on the small Kuusisaari island. The Didrichsen Art Museum has 2-3 changing exhibitions each year. The neighbouring Villa Gyllenberg features museum’s permanent collection which includes, amongst other masterpieces, 38 works by Helene Schjerfbeck. In addition, the museum also organises changing exhibitions. On Saturdays during the summer, Kuusisaari can be reached also by water bus running between Market Square in the city centre and Kuusisaari.

The northern shore of Laajalahti bay also offers exciting museum experiences, as well as a pleasant museum café where visitors can spend a relaxing moment. The Gallen-Kallela Museum, located in a castle-like villa designed by artist Akseli Gallen-Kallela, presents the art and life of Gallen-Kallela and his contemporaries with changing exhibitions, as well as exhibitions of contemporary art. From April you can also cycle to the museum on a city bike.

Aalto sites in Kouvola

Alvar Aalto’s most prominent works in Kouvola are located in Inkeroinen within the area of the Ankkapurha Culture Park. The buildings designed by Aalto in Tehtaanmäki, Inkeroinen date back to 1937 to 1956. These include the industrial buildings of the Anjala Paper Mill and the Tampella Co. Housing Area, including Rantalinja semi-detached houses, Tervalinja terraced houses, three engineering personnel houses and housing blocks for the workers of the mill. While in Kouvola, also make sure to check the Kasarminmäki gateposts, which the young architect designed for the garrison area when he was doing his military service.

The area is complemented by the Tehtaanmäki Primary School finished in 1940 and the Karhunkangas housing area of single-family homes, where most of the residential buildings were completed in 1938. The Tehtaanmäki Primary School is the only elementary school designed by Alvar Aalto that is still in its original use. The town plan designed by Aalto in 1937 covered the entire centre of Inkeroinen, but only the Karhunkangas area and the area adjacent to the mill were ever implemented.

The centre of Kouvola is also an interesting attraction to architecture enthusiasts. The administrative centre of Kouvola representing modernism is a nationally significant built cultural environment catalogued by the National Board of Antiquities. The Town Hall of Kouvola (Bertel Saarnio, Juha Leiviskä, 1964 to 1968, 1969) is an outstanding work of modern architecture classified by the international DOCOMOMO organisation.

The renovated pedestrian street Manski with its shops and cafeterias beckons you to have a cup of coffee and a rest. Those craving for culture make their way to explore the high-standard exhibitions of the Kouvola Art Museum belonging to the Poikilo Museums, and the museum building flooded with light.

Homes and habitats by Alvar Aalto

Villa Mairea in Noormarkku, Kauttua Terraced house and Paimio Sanatorium remain as homes, where everyday life merges with architecture and iconic design furniture. Well-being stems from the pine forests and riverside sauna. Set out to experience living as envisioned by Alvar Aalto!

This tour in the South West Finland takes you back in time and presents you the masterpieces of modern architecture. At the Paimio Sanatorium you can learn about Aalto’s modernist ideas healthy environments, at Kauttua you can see the Terraced house, that Aalto designed for residential use.

Villa Mairea presents you the beautiful private home of timeless decor. In the historical Noormarkku and Kauttua Works of the Ahlström company you can enjoy the picturesque milieu and learn about the history of Finnish woodworking industry.

Delicious lunch and dinner are served at authentic locations. There is also a possibility to bathe in the riverside sauna, a building designed by Aalto.

Early and later works of architect Alvar Aalto

Travel in the sceneries from the various phases in the life of Alvar Aalto, from Seinäjoki via Kuortane and Alajärvi to Jyväskylä in the lake district of Finland. See the master’s birthplace and family grave, some of his most famous competition works as well as his early and later works.

Alvar Aalto designed a world-famous centre of administrative and cultural buildings in Seinäjoki. The landmark of the Aalto centre, the Cross of the Plains Church, soars to a height of approx. 65 metres. The renovated Aalto Library exhibits the world’s biggest private collection of Aalto glassware.

The architect was born in Kuortane and he used to spend his summers in Alajärvi, which is the home for the first buildings designed by the young architect student and for the last creation of Aalto’s office. In Alajärvi, the tour participants can also visit the recently renovated Villa Väinölä, the house that Alvar Aalto designed for his brother. The countryside provided Alvar Aalto with a setting for relaxation during his hectic creative period.

The Jyväskylä region contains more buildings designed by the master architect than any other region in the entire world. Among as many as 28 attractions, you can choose for example the Alvar Aalto Museum, Muurame Church and Säynätsalo Town Hall, which is considered Aalto’s most prominent work in the red brick era. Alvar Aalto also went to school, started a family and launched his prestigious career in Jyväskylä.