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Early and later works of architect Alvar Aalto

Location: Alajärvi, Jyväskylä, Seinäjoki, Finland

Duration: 4 days

Sites: The Administrative and Cultural Centre in Seinäjoki, Alvar Aalto in Alajärvi, Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä, Säynätsalo Town Hall

Persons: 2-50

Available: All year. The availability of the services and the prices are revised and confirmed according to the time of travel when responding to a customer enquiry.

Accommodation: Included

Transportation: Not included

Themes: Aalto homes, Churches, Civic centers, Cultural buildings, Modernism

From 685 € per person

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.

Tour highlights:

  • The Aalto Centre, the Cross of the Plains Church in Seinäjoki
  • The renovated Aalto Library in Seinäjoki
  • Alvar Aalto´s childhood home, birthplace and family grave in Kuortane and Alajärvi
  • Villa Väinölä, house designed by Alvar Aalto for his brother in Alajärvi
  • Säynätsalo Town Hall in Jyväskylä
  • The Alvar Aalto Museum in Jyväskylä

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.

Lakeland scenery in Jyväskylä. Photo: Atacan Ergin

The Cross of the Plains Church in Seinäjoki. Photo: Visit Seinäjoki, Katja Lösönen.

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.
Alajärvi Town Hall
Alajärvi Town Hall by Alvar Aalto. Photo: Maija Holma, Alvar Aalto Foundation
Alajärvi Villa Väinölä
Alvar Aalto designed Villa Väinölä to his brother in Alajärvi. Photo: Maija Holma, Alvar Aalto Foundation
The Cross of the Plains Church in Seinäjoki. Photo: Visit Seinäjoki, Katja Lösönen.
The Cross of the Plains Church in Seinäjoki. Photo: Visit Seinäjoki, Katja Lösönen.
Seinäjoen kirjasto
Seinäjoki library has a lowered reading space which is a typical feature in Aalto’s libraries. Photo: Maija Holma, Alvar Aalto Foundation
The new library Apila is connected to the Aalto Library. Photo: Visit Seinäjoki, Katja Lösönen.
The new library Apila is connected to the Aalto Library. Photo: Visit Seinäjoki, Katja Lösönen.
Alvar Aalto Museum in Jyväskylä, photo Maija Holma
To visit the Alvar Aalto Museum is not only to immerse yourself in the world of Aalto’s architecture, design and personal history but it is an architectonic experience of space and building at the same time. Photo: Maija Holma, Alvar Aalto Foundation
Aalto-Säynätsalon-kunnantalo-Visit-Jyväskylä-Tero-Takalo-Eskola
Säynätsalo Town Hall is one of Aalto’s most admired designs. Photo: Tero Takalo-Eskola, Visit Jyväskylä

Programme by day

Day 1: Inspired by Aalto in Seinäjoki

Arrival at Seinäjoki and check-in to Hotel Alma (double room) near the railway station. The hotel is one of the oldest buildings in Seinäjoki. Originally it functioned as a house of the railroad workers. All the rooms are partly furnished with antique furniture and with varying color decor. The newest and most exceptional rooms are located in the Water Tower behind the main building. The tower was built in the 1920s and it used to supply water for the steam locomotives.

After arrival, independent lunch and later on, guided walking tour in the Seinäjoki Aalto Centre.

Alvar Aalto designed the cultural and administrative center of Seinäjoki. The unique centre consists of six buildings: The Cross of the Plains Church, Parish centre, City Hall, municipal library, governmental office building and City Theatre.

During the summer you can visit the 65-metre high church tower and enjoy the scenery. It is also recommended to go and see the new library Apila, which is connected to the Aalto Library by an underground passageway. Apila was designed by the Finnish office JKMM Architects. The largest private collection of Aalto glassware is on display at the Aalto Library. Guidance as an additional service.

Independent dinner.

Useful information

Recommendations:

Restaurants:

Kalevan Navetta Art and Culture Centre, Äärellä-restaurant (lunch) Uppala Manor House (Aalto-themed menu / dinner)

Shopping:

Amfora

Amfora is a studio of the designer & sculptor Päivi Rintaniemi in Seinäjoki. You can see and buy locally made tableware and ceramic design. Open on Thursdays 10-17 or upon agreement.

Taito Shop Seinäjoki

Taito Shop Seinäjoki offers a selection of Finnish and more specifically local Ostrobothnian handicrafts. The products are funny, creative and contemporary – perfect for everyday use or as gifts. The shop is located in the Kalevan Navetta Art and Culture Centre, in the city centre of Seinäjoki. Open from Monday to Friday 11 – 19, Saturdays 11 – 15.

OPTION: Bike rental and a tour on the unobstructed trail and the Kyrkösjärvi bike trail network (during summer).

Tips for things to do and see:

  • A visit to The Defence Corps and Lotta Svärd Museum

Breakfast at the lodging and check-out.

Departure to Alajärvi by rental car. The distance between Seinäjoki and Alajärvi is approx. 70 km / 60 min.

The road goes through Kauhajärvi and Kuortane. In Kauhajärvi you can see the church belfry designed by Alvar Aalto in 1923. In Kuortane you can see the exterior of Aalto’s birthplace. This building is now privately owned and can only be visited on the outside. At the gate there is an Alvar Aalto relief as a memorial.

After arrival, guided walking tour in the Alajärvi Aalto Centre including buildings from Aalto’s early career characterized by Nordic classicism: his first assignment the Youth Association building, Villa Väinölä and the municipal hospital, and of buildings from his so-called “white period” that include the Town hall, the Parish Centre a health centre and a library. The latter was finished by Aalto’s office.

The tour also takes you to the wooden church designed by the famous architect C.L. Engel. Aalto used to have a seat in the church loft in his youth. In the beautiful graveyard, you can see e.g. war memorials designed by Alvar Aalto, and the Aalto family grave.

The exhibition “Muodon vuoksi” of the classic 1930s glass design by Alvar and Aino Aalto is on display in the lobby of the Alajärvi Town Hall.

After the guided tour, independent lunch and optional visit at the Nelimarkka Museum.

Recommendations:

  • Restaurant Alvariini located at Alajärvi
  • Local Winery Punainen Tupa located about 5 km from Alajärvi

Later in the afternoon, departure towards Jyväskylä Lakeland region (about 160 km). On the way, visit the Petäjävesi Old Church, UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Overnight in Boutique Hotel Yöpuu in Aalto -room.

Breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast, drive to Säynätsalo. The highlight is the remarkable Säynätsalo Town Hall, one of the most famous buildings by Alvar Aalto. Already at the time of its construction the unique building attracted attention. Today about 3000-4000 enthusiastic visitors from all around the world visit the Town Hall annually. Guided tour at the town hall and afterwards, guided tour at Muuratsalo Experimental House.

Later on, drive back to Jyväskylä and optional visit to the Old Courtyard Toivola, which takes you back in time to the historical wooden town and offers possibilities for shopping local handicrafts etc. Independent lunch. After lunch, visit at Alvar Aalto Museum.

Recommendations:

Restaurants:

  • Toivola restaurant at Old Courtyard Toivola (lunch)
  • Café Alvar at Alvar Aalto Museum (lunch)
  • Restaurant Vesilinna (lunch)
  • Restaurant Pöllöwaari (dinner)
  • Restaurant Harmooni (dinner)
Useful information

Tips of things to do:

  • Muuratsalo island: experience the hilly scenery of the Finnish Lakeland area, the landscape so dear to Aalto. The easiest way to enjoy the scenery is by climbing on top of the hill Paljaspää, which offers an astonishing view over Lake Päijänne, the longest and second largest lake in Finland.
  • Lake Cruise on Lake Päijänne: dinner cruise onboard the S/S Suomi, the same ship by which Aalto himself travelled when he lived in Jyväskylä

Breakfast and guided Aalto Andante walking tour including Jyväskylä workers’ club, the administrative and cultural centre as well as the campus of the University of Jyväskylä (together with Nikolainkulma and the Nero steps on the Harju ridge).

After the tour, check-out at the hotel and departure.

Sites included in this trip

Järvi-Suomessa Jyväskylässä voit risteillä Aalto-kohteisiin, kuva Tero Takalo-Eskola

Alvar Aalto in Alajärvi

Alajärvi

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…

Järvi-Suomessa Jyväskylässä voit risteillä Aalto-kohteisiin, kuva Tero Takalo-Eskola

Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä

Jyväskylä

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…

Järvi-Suomessa Jyväskylässä voit risteillä Aalto-kohteisiin, kuva Tero Takalo-Eskola

Säynätsalo Town Hall

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. The dominant element of the building is the council chamber,…

Information on this trip

Good to know

  • The tour stretches across Seinäjoki – Alajärvi – Jyväskylä by car, own or rental.
  • The rental car prices vary according to the selected make and model.
  • The trip includes some walking and stairs. Partially not unobstructed.
  • Language: English, German. Some guided tours also in Russian, Swedish and Japanese.

 

Included

Price includes:

  • Accommodation in double/twin room with breakfast at Hotel Alma for one night (Seinäjoki)
  • Accommodation in double/twin room with breakfast at Boutique Hotel Yöpuu fro two nights (Jyväskylä)
  • Guided Aalto tours in Seinäjoki, Alajärvi and Jyväskylä
  • Admission fee and guided tour at Petäjävesi Church
  • Guided tours and entrance fees to Säynätsalo Town Hall, Muuratsalo Experimental House and Alvar Aalto Museum

Optional services

  • Accommodation in Hotel Alma´s Tower Room with a sauna
  • Accommodation in a single room
  • Entrance to the Seinäjoki Art Hall and the Museum of Central Finland
  • Dinner with an Aalto menu in Seinäjoki at restaurant Manor House of Uppala or restaurant Juurella
  • Dinner in Jyväskylä at restaurant Harmooni, restaurant Pöllöwaari or restaurant Vesilinna
  • Dinner Cruise on Lake Päijänne (during summer)
  • Bike rental and cycling in the Kyrkösjärvi route in Seinäjoki (during summer)
  • Services of a nature guide and gear rental in Muuratsalo

Excluded

  • Rental car
  • Parking fee
  • Meals, alcoholic or soft drinks during meals
  • Optional activities and visits

Example price 685 € per person

The price has been estimated for a group of 2 persons accommodated in a double room.

The tour is available on request year-round. The availability of the services and the prices are revised and confirmed according to the time of travel when responding to a customer enquiry. The programme is a suggestion and can be adjusted according to the customer’s needs. All rights reserved.

We follow the general terms and conditions for package tours. 

Inquiries and bookings

Example price 685 € per person

The price has been estimated for a group of 2 persons accommodated in a double room.

The tour is available on request year-round. The availability of the services and the prices are revised and confirmed according to the time of travel when responding to a customer enquiry. The programme is a suggestion and can be adjusted according to the customer’s needs. All rights reserved.

We follow the general terms and conditions for package tours. 

Lahti Region Ltd

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