Muuratsalo Experimental house

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.

The Experimental House consists of the main building (1952–54) and a guestroom-wing (1953). The L-shaped main building and walls enclose an internal courtyard which opens towards the south and west. In the internal courtyard, the facade treatment of the house changes from white-painted plastered walls to red brick. The heart of the patio is formed by an open fireplace in the centre of the courtyard.

The smoke sauna is situated on the shore of the lake in a sandy cove. It was constructed on stones on the shore, and the building logs were obtained from trees felled on the site. In addition to the steam room, the sauna building contains a changing room. Alvar Aalto made sketches of the sauna and Elissa Aalto prepared the working drawings.

Read more about the architecture of the building on the Alvar Aalto Foundation website.

Muuratsalo Experimental House. Photo: Maija Vatanen, Alvar Aalto Museum

View from the living room to the lake Päijänne. Photo: Maija Holma, Alvar Aalto Foundation

Lake Päijänne and Muuratsalo Experimental House. Photo: Alvar Aalto Museum
Muuratsalo Experimental House is located by Lake Päijänne. Photo: Alvar Aalto Foundation
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Aalto designed their summer house together with his wife Elissa. Photo: Maija Holma, Alvar Aalto Foundation
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Aalto also designed a boat which can be seen during guided tours. Photo: Alvar Aalto Foundation
Muuratsalo Experimental House Alvar Aalto Foundation
Whitewashed brick walls rise from the landscape on the hill like an ancient ruin. Photo: Alvar Aalto Foundation
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Several different types of bricks were experimented at the courtyard of the building. Photo: Alvar Aalto Foundation

Destination on the map

1. Muuratsalo Experimental house

Information for visitors

Good to know

Arriving to Muuratsalo

Muuratsalo Experimental house is located on the western shore of the island of Muuratsalo, approximately 5 km away from the town centre of Säynätsalo. From Jyväskylä there are buses 16 and 21 that run from the city centre of to Muuratsalo every half an hour. The journey time is approximately 1 hour from Jyväskylä. Please check the schedules in advance from Jyväskylä’s journey planner. 

Please note that the Experimental House is only open with a guided tour and only during summer season. In 2019, the building is open from 1st of June to 16th of September. Please confirm prices and opening times before you planned visit.

Please note that you can purchase publications about the Muuratsalo Experimental house as download architectural drawings from Alvar Aalto web shop! 

Guided tours

Tickets can be booked in advance from Alvar Aalto Shop.

Group bookings only by email: museum@alvaraalto.fi

Further information

In addition to the actual residential building, the tour includes the smoke sauna and the boat that Aalto designed and named “Nemo Propheta in Patria”. The guided part of the tour takes about 45 minutes, followed by free time to walk around until 3:30 pm. Guided tours can accommodate up to 20 people and are held in Finnish and English.