The new Aalto2 Museum Centre in Finland

The Aalto2 Museum Centre, a new hub dedicated to Finnish design and architecture, opens in Jyväskylä, Finland

Aalto2 Museum Centre

A new hub dedicated to Finnish design and architecture has opened in Jyväskylä for the 125th anniversary of Alvar Aalto’s birth. The Aalto2 Museum Centre offers its visitors the chance to explore the history of Central Finland and learn more about Alvar Aalto’s architecture and design. The new space connects the two buildings designed by the celebrated designer: the Alvar Aalto Museum (1971-73) and the Museum of Central Finland (1956-61). Designed by Finnish firm A-Konsultit Oy, the extension project also includes the renovation of the Alvar Aalto Museum.

The extension of the Alvar Aalto Museum and the Museum of Central Finland

The creation of the new Aalto2 Museum Centre with its rich program of exhibitions, events and activities, fulfils Alvar Aalto’s wish to create a cultural forum focused on diverse art forms; a place where any visitor can explore Finnish design and architecture along with the rich heritage of Jyväskylä and Central Finland.

The extension of the Alvar Aalto Museum (1971-73) and the Museum of Central Finland (1956-61) connects the two existing buildings. This new space houses a common lobby for the two museums, an exhibition area, an open space for events, a cafeteria, and a museum shop. The joint use of the two museums facilitates the circulation of visitors within the museum complex and makes it possible to host larger exhibitions and side events of different types.

Aalto2 Museum Centre

The renovation of the Alvar Aalto Museum

With the opening of the Aalto2 Museum Centre, the renovation of the Alvar Aalto Museum was also completed. The museum was totally renovated to meet new museum requirements and improve the technical, functional and structural performance of the existing building. All original rooms, architectural elements, lamps and furniture designed by Alvar Aalto have also been preserved.

Three opening exhibitions at the Aalto2 Museum Centre

The Aalto2 Museum Centre celebrates its opening with one temporary and two permanent exhibitions. The temporary exhibition Human Traces – World Heritage, on display until January 21, 2024 in the spaces of both museums, is curated by the Finnish-Spanish architectural duo Anna & Eugeni Bach. This exhibition presents a selection of world heritage works such as the Great Wall of China, the Acropolis in Athens, and the Colosseum in Rome as well the culture of traditional Finnish sauna and modern architecture, linked to the works of Alvar Aalto.

The first permanent exhibition AALTO – Work and Life, hosted at the Alvar Aalto Museum, presents the life and work of Alvar Aalto (1898-1976). Aalto is a well-known Finnish architect and designer who worked with his wives, Aino Aalto (1894-1949) and Elissa Aalto (1922-1994), many architects from his office and outside, both Finnish and international. According to Alvar Aalto, architecture and design can solve the problems of human beings and society, as it is the architect’s duty to serve every person.

On the other hand, the second permanent exhibition, Exploring Central Finland, at the Museum of Central Finland, explores the cultural heritage of Central Finland from prehistoric times to the year 2000. The exhibition presents the lives of local people in different millennia, centuries and decades. An interactive exhibit full of objects and images offers visitors the chance to listen to stories from the past; admire the landscape of Central Finland; watch a film; read a comic strip about the founding stages of the city; immerse themselves in a smoke sauna.

Text: Arianna Callocchia / Photo: Maija Holma, Eugeni Bach and Alvar Aalto Foundation

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