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Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä

Tours: Self-guided/guided tour You can easily go and see the buildings by Aalto on your own, but for a more in-depth experience you can also book a guided tour. You can make bookings and get more information from Jyväskylä Tourist Information, email travel@jkl.fi, tel. +358 14 266 0113.

Themes: Aalto homes, Churches, Civic centers, Classicism, Modernism, Red brick, Schools, Whitewash

In Jyväskylä, the city of lakes and hills in the heart of the Finnish Lakeland, you’ll find the largest number of masterful buildings in the whole world designed by the world-famous architect and academician Alvar Aalto.

The impressive portfolio of 28 locations includes, for instance, the Alvar Aalto Museum, Muurame Church and Säynätsalo Town Hall, which is regarded as one of Aalto’s finest works.

Alvar Aalto also went to school, started a family and began his illustrious career in Jyväskylä. The city of Jyväskylä is home to Aalto creations from the very start of his career right through to designs from his final years.

In Jyväskylä you’ll tread in the master’s footsteps from classicism to functionalism and from brick
architecture to monumentalism. Jyväskylä offers you a vast selection of guided tours and interesting visits either on foot, by bike or by boat!

Jyväskylä is also perfectly suited for conferences. The city is lively due to the University and it offers a selection of restaurants and venues for all kind of events. The Finnish Lakeland, being the Sauna Region of the World, guarantees various possibilities for groups of all sizes.

One point of interest is the swimming hall designed by Alvar Aalto. Back then it was one of the very first swimming halls in Finland. It was later enlarged and now the AaltoAlvari Aquatic Centre houses sport and spa services, with various pools like rapid and wave pools, a hot tub, a water slide and diving boards.

Located at a hub of excellent connections, Jyväskylä is highly accessible from practically anywhere.

Jyväskylän yliopiston päärakennus on kampuksen tunnetuin rakennuskokonaisuus. Kuva: Maija Holma, Alvar Aalto -säätiö

Aalto’s original plan included a rose garden in the courtyard. Photo: Tero Takalo-Eskola, Visit Jyväskylä

Muuratsalon Koetalo kuva Maija Holma Alvar Aalto -säätiö
Koetalo sijaitsee kallion päällä ja Aallon arkkitehtuurille tyypillisesti rakennus on aseteltu osaksi maisemaa. Kuva: Maija Holma, Alvar Aalto -säätiö
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Muuratsalossa on nähtävillä Aallon vapaamuotoisten tiilirakenteiden kokeilua. Kuva: Maija Holma, Alvar Aalto -säätiö
Lake Päijänne in Jyväskylä near the Experimental House, photo Maija Holma Alvar Aalto Foundation
Muuratsalon koetalo sijaitsee Päijänteen rannalla. Kuva: Maija Holma, Alvar Aalto -säätiö
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The round foyer is a distinctive feature in the building. Photo: Maija Holma, Alvar Aalto Foundation

Explore sites in Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä on the map

1. The Terraced House at the Kauttua Works in Eura

2. Ekenäs Savings Bank

3. Riverside sauna in Kauttua Ironworks

4. Aalto library in Seinäjoki

5. Jyväskylä Workers’ Club

6. The Seinäjoki Defence Corps building

7. AaltoAlvari swimming hall

8. Villa Skeppet

9. The Iittala Glass Factory and Design Museum Iittala

10. Muurame church

11. Church of the Three Crosses (Vuoksenniska Church)

12. Aalto and the Post-war Rebuilding of Rovaniemi

13. Espoo and Otaniemi Campus Area

14. Turku and the Office Building for Turun Sanomat Newspaper

15. Säynätsalo Town Hall

16. Paimio Sanatorium

17. Muuratsalo Experimental house

18. Alvar Aalto Museum

19. Church of the Cross

20. Varkaus – industrial history, Lake Saimaa waterways and caviar

21. Finlandia Hall

22. Interior and Furnishing of the Savoy Restaurant

23. Helsinki Energy Office Building

24. National Pensions Institute, Main Building

25. National Pensions Institute, Housing Area

26. Book House

27. The Aalto House

28. Studio Aalto

29. Summa paper mill and housing area in Hamina

30. The artist community at Lake Tuusula and Villa Kokkonen in Järvenpää

31. Alvar Aalto’s Villa Kokkonen

32. Sunila Sulphate Pulp Mill and Residential Area

33. Alvar Aalto in Alajärvi

34. The Administrative and Cultural Centre in Seinäjoki

35. Industrial history and the Tampella Co. Housing Area in Inkeroinen

36. Villa Mairea and Ahlström’s Noormarkku Works in Pori

37. Kauttua Ruukinpuisto Works at Eura

38. Mill Manager’s residence Kantola and beach Sauna in Sunila

39. Villa Mairea

40. Erottaja Pavilion Emergency Shelter Entrance

41. Enso-Gutzeit Co. Headquarters

42. Rautatalo Office Building

43. House of Culture

Sites in Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä

Viitatorni apartment block house by Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä. Photo: Visit Jyväskylä, Tero Takalo-Eskola.

The Terraced House at the Kauttua Works in Eura

Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä / 1937-38

The Terraced House in Kauttua is one of Alvar Aalto’s most prominent works also internationally. In 1937, Alvar Aalto received a commission from the A. Ahlström company for the town planning and infill building of the Kauttua ironworks area. The assignment also stemmed from Alvar Aalto’s friendship with the company’s…

Viitatorni apartment block house by Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä. Photo: Visit Jyväskylä, Tero Takalo-Eskola.

Ekenäs Savings Bank

Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä / 1964-70, 1986

Alvar Aalto was chosen to design Ekenäs Savings Bank in 1962. The bank is located right in the center of Ekenäs in 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 opens…

Viitatorni apartment block house by Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä. Photo: Visit Jyväskylä, Tero Takalo-Eskola.

Riverside sauna in Kauttua Ironworks

Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä / 1946

Aino and Alvar Aalto designed the riverside sauna and laundry building for the employees of A. Ahlström Osakeyhtiö in the Kauttua Ironworks area in Eura. The building is situated by the rapids in the beautiful surroundings of Kauttua Ironworks, near the bank of the flowing Eurajoki river. It was completed…

Viitatorni apartment block house by Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä. Photo: Visit Jyväskylä, Tero Takalo-Eskola.

Aalto library in Seinäjoki

Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä / 1965

The Seinäjoki Library was designed as a part of the Aalto Centre in Seinäjoki and the building completed in 1965. Originally the public and other working spaces were mainly located on the ground floor of the building whereas storage and exhibition spaces were located downstairs. Aalto also designed the main…

Viitatorni apartment block house by Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä. Photo: Visit Jyväskylä, Tero Takalo-Eskola.

Jyväskylä Workers’ Club

Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä / 1924-25

Jyväskylä Workers’ club building was the first notable public building that Alvar Aalto got to design after his graduation with Aino Aalto. Aalto was given the design commission for the new building in the city centre by the Jyväskylä Workers’ Association in 1924. The plans for the building were made…

Viitatorni apartment block house by Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä. Photo: Visit Jyväskylä, Tero Takalo-Eskola.

The Seinäjoki Defence Corps building

Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä / 1924-25

The Defence Corps building was commissioned by the Southern Ostrobothnia Defence Corps, which used the three-storey building with mixed functions as its headquarters. The main building was originally used as offices for the Civil Guard of South Ostrobothnia and the Lotta Svärd Association. The top tier of the building…

Viitatorni apartment block house by Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä. Photo: Visit Jyväskylä, Tero Takalo-Eskola.

AaltoAlvari swimming hall

Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä / 1954-56, 1964

AaltoAlvari is the only swimming hall designed by Alvar Aalto. AaltoAlvari also has a gym, sports hall and a cafeteria. AaltoAlvari is also part of the main campus of the Jyväskylä University campus that was designed by Aalto as well. The original design of the swimming hall is…

Viitatorni apartment block house by Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä. Photo: Visit Jyväskylä, Tero Takalo-Eskola.

Villa Skeppet

Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä / 1969−70

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…

Viitatorni apartment block house by Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä. Photo: Visit Jyväskylä, Tero Takalo-Eskola.

Muurame church

Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä / 1926-29

Alvar Aalto designed several church plans in 1920’s and Muurame church is the only one that was realised. Muurame church is considered to be a interphase in Aalto’s career. After Muurame church, Aalto gradually moved on from classism to functionalism. The village of Muurame lies a few miles south of Jyväskylä,…

Viitatorni apartment block house by Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä. Photo: Visit Jyväskylä, Tero Takalo-Eskola.

Church of the Three Crosses (Vuoksenniska Church)

Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä / 1956-58

The Church of the Three Crosses in Vuoksenniska is one of Imatra’s parish churches. After the Second World War, Alvar Aalto was commissioned to create a master plan for Imatra, which merged three of the rural municipality’s widely separated old villages: Imatrankoski, Vuoksenniska and Tainionkoski. The industrial community also required…

Viitatorni apartment block house by Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä. Photo: Visit Jyväskylä, Tero Takalo-Eskola.

Espoo and Otaniemi Campus Area

Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä

Espoo, located west of Helsinki, is part of the Finnish capital region. Alvar Aalto’s most famous work in Espoo is the Otaniemi campus, now known as Aalto University. Originally known as Helsinki University of Technology, the campus was inspired by American college campuses and realised as their Finnish counterpart by…

Viitatorni apartment block house by Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä. Photo: Visit Jyväskylä, Tero Takalo-Eskola.

Säynätsalo Town Hall

Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä / 1949-52

The invitational competition for Säynätsalo Town Hall was held in 1949. Aalto won the competition with an entry marked ‘Curia’, and was immediately commissioned to prepare working drawings. Completed in 1952, the building is one of Aalto’s most admired designs.

Viitatorni apartment block house by Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä. Photo: Visit Jyväskylä, Tero Takalo-Eskola.

Paimio Sanatorium

Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä

The building completed in 1933 as Paimio Sanatorium was of key importance to the international career of architects Alvar and Aino Aalto. Together with Vyborg (Viipuri) Library, completed two years later, it gave the Aaltos an international profile. Finnish architecture was no longer merely the receiver of influences from outside.

Viitatorni apartment block house by Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä. Photo: Visit Jyväskylä, Tero Takalo-Eskola.

Muuratsalo Experimental house

Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä / 1952-54

Muuratsalo Experimental House, the summer home of Alvar and Elissa Aalto, is situated on the western shore of the island of Muuratsalo, on lake Päijänne. Within the grounds of the Experimental House are the house itself, a woodshed and a smoke sauna.

Viitatorni apartment block house by Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä. Photo: Visit Jyväskylä, Tero Takalo-Eskola.

Alvar Aalto Museum

Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä / 1971-73

Alvar Aalto was commissioned to prepare drawings for Jyväskylä art museum, which were finished in autumn 1971. The building was completed in 1973. The Alvar Aalto Museum is sited on a slope leading down towards Lake Jyväsjärvi. Above a high, white-painted concrete plinth, the elevations of the Alvar Aalto Museum…

Viitatorni apartment block house by Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä. Photo: Visit Jyväskylä, Tero Takalo-Eskola.

Church of the Cross

Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä

On the old church site of Kolkanmäki rises the architecturally impressive tower of the Church of the Cross, built 1978. This vital element of the Lahti cityscape is a masterwork of Alvar Aalto, elegantly mirroring the city hall – located on the southern end of an axis crossing the market…

Viitatorni apartment block house by Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä. Photo: Visit Jyväskylä, Tero Takalo-Eskola.

Finlandia Hall

Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä / 1962/1967-75

Finlandia Hall was completed in Helsinki’s city centre in 1971 and the extra wing in 1975. The building was intended for congresses and concerts. The location of Finlandia Hall is part of the plan for Helsinki’s city centre that Aalto made in the 1960s. The building was intended to be…

Viitatorni apartment block house by Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä. Photo: Visit Jyväskylä, Tero Takalo-Eskola.

Interior and Furnishing of the Savoy Restaurant

Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä / 1937

Aino and Alvar Aalto designed the interior of Savoy Restaurant, which occupies a commercial building in the centre of Helsinki. The restaurant’s furniture was commissioned from Artek. The Savoy has mostly kept its original appearance and is still a restaurant. A. Ahlström Osakeyhtiö commissioned the commercial and office building called…

Viitatorni apartment block house by Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä. Photo: Visit Jyväskylä, Tero Takalo-Eskola.

Helsinki Energy Office Building

Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä / 1965-73

Helsinki Energy Office Building was designed for Helsinki Energy, former The Office Building of the Helsinki City Electricity Company. It is located in the the city centre of Helsinki, in Kamppi area. The building’s location is part of Aalto’s city-centre plan from 1961. Together with Finlandia Hall, Helsinki Energy…

Viitatorni apartment block house by Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä. Photo: Visit Jyväskylä, Tero Takalo-Eskola.

National Pensions Institute, Main Building

Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä / 1953-56

National Pensions Institute (The Social Insurance Institution of Finland) Head Office is close to the centre of Helsinki. The richly nuancedly monumental main building represents the best of Aalto’s office buildings. The building (1953-1956) is still in its original use. Aino and Alvar Aalto won the design competition for the…

Viitatorni apartment block house by Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä. Photo: Visit Jyväskylä, Tero Takalo-Eskola.

National Pensions Institute, Housing Area

Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä / 1952-54

Seen in the cityscape the redbrick high-rise blocks form an integrated whole. Alvar Aalto designed these blocks of flats in Munkkiniemi, Helsinki, for the employees of the Social Insurance Institution of Finland. The collaboration with the National Pensions Insitute and the Aalto’s had already begun a couple years before. Aino and…

Viitatorni apartment block house by Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä. Photo: Visit Jyväskylä, Tero Takalo-Eskola.

Book House

Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä / 1961-69

The Academic Bookstore, or ‘Book Palace’, is in Helsinki’s city centre, in the same block as the Aalto-designed office building, the Rautatalo. The building was finished in 1969 and it is still in its original use. The Academic Bookstore moved in to the building in October 1969. The plot’s owner,…

Viitatorni apartment block house by Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä. Photo: Visit Jyväskylä, Tero Takalo-Eskola.

The Aalto House

Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä / 1935-36

In 1934, Aino and Alvar Aalto acquired a site in almost completely untouched surroundings at Riihitie in Helsinki’s Munkkiniemi. Aino and Alvar Aalto designed the building, whose simple, natural materials soften the form language of modern architecture. Designing their own home gave them an opportunity to make various structural and…

Viitatorni apartment block house by Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä. Photo: Visit Jyväskylä, Tero Takalo-Eskola.

Studio Aalto

Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä / 1954-55, 1962-63

Alvar Aalto designed the building at Tiilimäki 20 in Munkkiniemi as his own office in 1955. Because of a number of large commissions, the office needed more space to work in. The building is only a short walk from Aalto’s own house, where the office had previously been located. Studio…

Viitatorni apartment block house by Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä. Photo: Visit Jyväskylä, Tero Takalo-Eskola.

Alvar Aalto’s Villa Kokkonen

Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä

Villa Kokkonen (1967 – 1969) is a real rarity among the private homes designed by Alvar Aalto, because Aalto designed the building as an artist’s home. The composer Joonas Kokkonen lived in Villa Kokkonen for 27 years. The architectural heart of the building is the unique combination of a grand…

Viitatorni apartment block house by Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä. Photo: Visit Jyväskylä, Tero Takalo-Eskola.

Alvar Aalto in Alajärvi

Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä

The city of Alajärvi in the Southern Ostrobothnia is located close to Alvar Aalto’s childhood hometown Kuortane. Aalto spent his childhood summers in Alajärvi and later had his own summer house there up to 1940s. For him Alajärvi represented leisure time with family and relatives in contrast to the hectic…

Viitatorni apartment block house by Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä. Photo: Visit Jyväskylä, Tero Takalo-Eskola.

Kauttua Ruukinpuisto Works at Eura

Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä

The Terraced House at the Kauttua Works in Eura is a vivid example of the desire of the architect to integrate the building into the natural environment: the multi-storey residential building adapts to the slope, so the entrance of each apartment is on ground level. Completed in 1938, the Terraced…

Viitatorni apartment block house by Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä. Photo: Visit Jyväskylä, Tero Takalo-Eskola.

Villa Mairea

Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä

Located within the Noormarkku Works area, Villa Mairea was built in 1939 to serve as the home of Maire (née Ahlström) and Harry Gullichsen. The progressive couple were patrons of the arts, and they were interested in the clean-cut expression of modernism. Their good friends, the architects Aino and…

Viitatorni apartment block house by Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä. Photo: Visit Jyväskylä, Tero Takalo-Eskola.

Erottaja Pavilion Emergency Shelter Entrance

Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä / 1949-51

Erottaja Pavilion is one of Helsinki’s earliest Aalto-designed buildings. This small building intended as an emergency-shelter entrance is close to Helsinki’s city centre. The Pavilion building is part of a larger plan for a traffic system for the Erottaja district. Aalto’s office won the architectural competition for the entire Erottaja…

Viitatorni apartment block house by Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä. Photo: Visit Jyväskylä, Tero Takalo-Eskola.

Enso-Gutzeit Co. Headquarters

Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä

The Enso-Gutzeit Headquarters building was completed in the centre of Helsinki, in a prominent place in the Southern Harbour, in 1962. Now Stora Enso’s Headquarters, the building is one of Aalto’s most controversial works. Aalto wanted to design a new head-office building to be part of Helsinki’s shoreline silhouette. The…

Viitatorni apartment block house by Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä. Photo: Visit Jyväskylä, Tero Takalo-Eskola.

Rautatalo Office Building

Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä / 1951-55

The Rautatalo Office Building was completed in Helsinki’s city centre in 1955. The building got its name (‘Iron House’) from the federation of Finnish hardware dealers that commissioned it. The main space is the light court, or marble courtyard, that extends from the first floor upwards. Aalto’s office won the…

Viitatorni apartment block house by Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä. Photo: Visit Jyväskylä, Tero Takalo-Eskola.

House of Culture

Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä / 1952-58

The House of Culture was completed in 1958 close to the centre of Helsinki. It was designed as a multi-purpose building for the Communist Party of Finland. Apart from the concert hall, the building was intended to accommodate a variety of cultural activities. The concert hall and theatre are in…

Information for visitors

Good to know

Arriving to Jyväskylä

Jyväskylä is located approximately 270 kilometres away from Helsinki. Jyväskylä is located in the middle of Finland, it is within a reasonable distance from anywhere in the country.

By train or coach

The rail journey to Jyväskylä takes 1.5 hours from Tampere and less than 3.5 hours from Helsinki. You can also take either a Matkahuolto or Onnibus buses to Jyväskylä. When travelling by train or coach, you will arrive in Jyväskylä at the Travel Centre right in the heart of the city.

By car

To reach Jyväskylä by road, a car or coach is equally convenient. Located on the highway E4, Jyväskylä is easily accessible by car while highway no. 9 links it to Kuopio and Tampere. To find the fastest or shortest route to Jyväskylä by car, make use of the route planning services available on the Internet, such as Google Maps.

By lake

Jyväskylä offers beautiful lake sceneries on Päijänne and Jyväsjärvi. Jyväsjärvi is accessible from Lake Päijänne via Äijälänsalmi, a busy but safe and wide channel. Jyväskylä’s refurbished busy marina is located in Lutakko on Lake Jyväsjärvi close to the heart of the city and Travel Centre.

By air

Jyväskylä is easily accessible by air. The airport is located in Tikkakoski, about 23 kilometres from the centre of Jyväskylä. Information on long-distance buses stopping at the airport as well as other public transport connections is available here.

Read more about sights in Jyväskylä

Read more about Jyväskylä

Read more about Aalto’s Jyväskylä 

Please note that you can purchase publications about Aalto’s architecture in Jyväskylä as well as download architectural drawings from Alvar Aalto web shop! 

Guided tours

You can easily go and see the buildings by Aalto on your own, but for a more in-depth experience you can also book a guided tour. You can make bookings and get more information from Jyväskylä Tourist Information, email travel@jkl.fi, tel. +358 14 266 0113.