Appeal to protect Alvar Aalto's healing modernism

When completed in 1933, the Paimio Tuberculosis Sanatorium in Finland was immediately presented in the British Architectural Review. It launched the international careers of Alvar and Aino Aalto. It showed the new humanism that the Aalto’s were finding in architecture and design.

The Sanatorium was, and still is, much more than a brilliant startup of young talents. It was the symbol of the young Finnish welfare state. Its international significance is remarkable both as modernism and hospital typology. Even today, it gives plenty of food for thought on practical solutions for sustainable development, climate change as well as healthy building.

Tuberculosis was a killing disease. To bring relief, everything in the architecture served the patient. The building was located in a healing pine forest. New furniture was designed using wood, a material with life, instead of cold steel. Patient’s rooms were painted with therapeutic colors instead of dull hospital tones. The main structure is a radical concrete pillar system, vis- ible as part of the façade. Alvar and Aino Aalto designed a healing entity, everything from the buildings to hand washing basins.

As tuberculosis was overcome with antibiotics, the Sanatorium became an ordinary hospital. It served well until recent times. It is now considered outdated for hospital use. The owner, a hospital district including many municipalities, has put Paimio for sale.

The buildings are robust and can take a wide palette of activities. However, new use should be chosen so that it does not destroy the still existing entity of original architecture, interiors and furniture. Paimio is an integrated oeuvre d’art of architecture: only when all these parts are kept together, do they show the its beauty and wisdom of this masterpiece of modernism.

We are kindly asking You to sign this appeal to emphasize that the new owner should find uses that respect the architecture of Alvar and Aino Aalto’s masterpiece. The best way to guarantee this is the guidance of the expert architects in the Alvar Aalto Foundation.

Please indicate Your support by signing the appeal:
- http://www.alvaraalto.fi/paimio-vetoomus
- http://www.alvaraalto.fi/paimioappeal

Thank You for your support!

Julkaistu 31.8.2018

Takaisin