Alvar Aalto's South-East Finland

Explore the Alvar Aalto Route in Southeastern Finland, where timeless architecture meets breathtaking nature. This 450-kilometer journey winds through the eastern Gulf of Finland, South Saimaa, the Kymi River, and the eastern border, showcasing internationally acclaimed Finnish design.

Kymenlaakso, rightfully called the “Aalto Province,” boasts the highest concentration of Aino and Alvar Aalto’s architectural gems in a single Finnish region. Aalto’s structures harmoniously blend with the landscape, offering a seamless connection to nature. The interplay of nature and light was of utmost importance to Aalto, resulting in a captivating architectural style that continues to fascinate travelers.

Architecture, history, and design enthusiasts can immerse themselves in Aalto’s creations for days and even stay in Aalto-designed apartments adorned with his signature style. The route encompasses seven areas with Aalto’s influence:

  1. Strömfors Factory Residential Buildings: Experience the well-preserved Strömfors Ironworks community, including a two-family house redesigned into an inn, respecting its originality.
  2. Karhula Apartment Buildings in Kotka: Discover Karhula’s residential buildings, affectionately known as the “tennis houses,” designed by Aalto between 1945 and 1947.
  3. Sunila Factory and Worker’s Residential Area in Kotka: Immerse yourself in Sunila‘s large, unified residential area, a testament to Aalto’s 1930s modernism.
  4. Petkele Residential Area in Hamina: Explore the Summa paper mill milieu designed by Aalto and his apartment designs in the Petkele residential area.
  5. Imatra: Admire The Church of The Three Crosses in Vuoksenniska (1957), a masterpiece of modern church architecture, representing Aalto’s functionalist style.
  6. Imatra Type Houses: See Aalto’s C-type houses in Kurkvuori (1950-1955) and other Aalto-style residences in Imatra.
  7. Kouvola Barracks Area Gates: Witness the natural stone main gate’s columns and iron fence, designed by Aalto, and the granite columns of the Marjoniemi barracks gate.

The Aalto Route also offers accommodation in Aalto-designed apartments at Strömfors Ironworks and Sunila. Enjoy guided tours to Aalto destinations in Inkeroinen and savor Ankkapurha Cultural Park’s services. Immerse yourself in modernism and functionalism in Imatra and witness Aalto’s influence on the city’s general station plan.

Discover the legacy of Aino and Alvar Aalto in a journey that seamlessly blends architecture and nature, creating an unforgettable experience for travelers. Watch the route video and navigate with Outdoor Active.

A warm welcome to enjoy the cultural heritage of the East Coast of Finland!