Alvar Aalto week offers exciting new angles on Sunila’s heritage

This year, the seventh annual Alvar Aalto Week takes place in Kotka, Finland, on 26.8–3.9.2023. The theme Löydä Sunila –Alvar Aallon aarteet tutuksi (Discover Sunila – Exploring Alvar Aalto’s treasures) invites you to explore Kotka’s built environment and the rich industrial heritage of the Sunila area.

The diverse programme for Alvar Aalto Week spans architecture, design and art, and the underlying culture, history, and contemporary events. The Week prompts us to take notice of our built environment and its cultural heritage.

The rightful main stage for the event week is Sunila Pulp Mill and residential area designed by Alvar Aalto in 1936–54, also known as Finland’s first forest suburb. The residential buildings form a harmonious whole that reflects the ideals of modern architecture: well-lit apartments; alignment with points of the compass; and buildings integrated into the terrain. During the Week, there will be guided tours of sites in the area, revealing interesting aspects of the hierarchical arrangement of Sunila’s residences. The public will also have a unique opportunity to visit Sunila’s delightful apartments during Sunilan Aalto-kodit (Sunila´s Aalto Homes) weekend on 2–3.9.2023.

The Alvar Aalto Week programme offers a rich cocktail of events for visitors of all ages and interests. It includes lectures, walking tours, theatre performances, films and concerts, not forgetting an architecture seminar open to the public and a cultural seminar for the experts. You can also savour the mood of the Week at an Arkkitehti brunch. Check out the exciting Alvar Aalto Week programme in Finnish and pick out your calendar favourites here.

The Alvar Aalto Foundation is publishing a book on the history of the area: Sunila Industrial and Residential Area 1936–54, which also serves as an excellent travel guide to Sunila’s sites.

The City of Kotka is Chair of the international network of Alvar Aalto Cities for 2023. Alvar Aalto Week is the network’s main annual event. This year’s Week is being organised by the City of Kotka together with the Alvar Aalto Foundation and the numerous event arrangers.