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Opening of Alvar Aalto's Jyväskylä with Ambassador Hautala



Join us for the opening reception of the special exhibition Alvar Aalto’s Jyväskylä by Janne Tuunanen. His Excellency Mikko Hautala, Ambassador of Finland to the US, will share his personal experiences with Alvar Aalto's architecture, and photographer Janne Tuunanen will discuss the artistic inspiration he found in Aalto's architecture and in visiting Jyväskylä. Jyväskylä, surrounded by lakes and forests in the heart of Central Finland, is known for the exceptional heritage of modern architecture designed by Aalto. Aalto went to school, started a family, and began his illustrious career in Jyväskylä, which is home to his creations from the very start of his career right through to designs from his final years.

The event will then feature a special lecture on Aalto and his work in the region, given by William C. Miller, FAIA, Dean and Professor Emeritus of Architecture in the College of Architecture + Planning at the University of Utah. Miller is the author of the definitive annotated bibliography on Aalto and Nordic Modernism: Scandinavian Architecture 1890 - 2015.

The career of Finnish architect Alvar Aalto is bookended, to a degree, with architectural works in the central Finnish city of Jyväskylä. He opened his first studio there in 1923, and executed a number of important civic works in the Nordic Classical style with his architect wife Aino Marsio Aalto. They moved to Turku in 1927 as their work embraced continental International Style modernism (known as “Nordic Funktionalism” in the north). With their international reputation expanding they moved to Helsinki in 1933, and by Aino’s death in 1949 the couple’s architecture and applied designs had become recognized worldwide. Beginning in the early 1950s the work in Aalto’s office exploded with numerous commissions and winning competition entries. In 1952 he married architect Elsa Mäkiniemi, known as Elissa, a member of his studio. Together they were engaged in a series of significant civic and public projects in Jyväskylä which transformed the cultural landscape of the city, leaving a lasting architectural legacy.

The program will also offer tips for traveling to Finland from design to architecture and from sauna to nature from our partners, Visit Finland and Finnair.

Read more about the exhibition here.


  • Ambassador Mikko Hautala 155_155

    Mikko Hautala

    Ambassador of the Republic of Finland to the United States of America

  • Janne_155

    Janne Tuunanen

    Janne Tuunanen is a Finnish photographer and artist based in New York City. He has collaborated with institutions like the Royal College of Art and the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York.

  • AaltoLecturer_155

    William C. Miller, FAIA

    William Miller’s 40 year career as an architectural educator and academic administrator spanned three institutions: the University of Arizona, Kansas State University, and the University of Utah.