Finland: Day 2

Aalto Day!

Wednesday morning we had breakfast at the hostel and left around 8:00 am for our first site, Saynatsalo. This is a multifunction building complex Aalto built in the 50’s consisting of a town hall, library, and shops.

Our next stop was Muuratsalo, which was the island Aalto bought property on during the construction of Saynatsalo to build his “Experimental House”. He built this house back in the woods to test out different materials and their durability according to the surrounding environment. It also served as a summer-house for him and his wife. It was a far walk from the road but very close to the water because they accessed the property by boat.

We then went to the University of Jyvaskyla, which was one of the first Finnish- speaking colleges. Apparently at this time large universities and colleges were scarce. Aalto designed and built several of the buildings on campus. We went to see the Pedagogical Institute, the Library, and a lecture hall.

Close by was the Alvar Aalto Museum. We walked over there from the University and looked around for a bit. When we went to the museum I had a chance to see how much he really designed and built, and I couldn’t believe it. I wish we had more time to stay and read the information about some of the things he created. We saw his furniture pieces, glass work, models of the buildings and even some of his original drawings and sketches! Those were what I found most interesting, to see how his ideas came out on paper and then transformed into a final piece.

We left Jyvaskyla around 2:30 and had about a 4 hr bus ride to the Sokos Presidentti in Helsinki. This time we had a really nice Hotel instead of a hostel! It was beautiful and right in the middle of the city near everything! I unpacked and changed, and then a large group of us went out for dinner and drinks in the city.


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