Studio Aalto

Tiilimäki 20

00330 Helsinki



Alvar Aalto 1955


His practice increasing commissions, Alvar Aalto decided to build a new and larger building for his firm. The new office was settled a short walk from his home, which used to house the studio before, in the residential area of west Helsinki's neighborhood Munkkiniemi. With the words of Aalto, "an architect's studio should provide both peace and quiet for the individual and the possibility of group work. This is the key to the general character of the building."



The studio has an L shape, with a side curving and embracing an amphitheatre in the garden, an intimate open space where associates could sit and listen to lectures, watch slide shows projected on the wall, or simply take a pause and have a talk. There are no windows on the street side, while on the other side the rooms open onto the amphitheatre and the garden. The white facades of bricks make the exterior looks sober and clear.



"Aalto's office resembles more a villa than the conventional image of an architect's working space," as Professor David Dunster says. The interior, functional and detail-oriented, is made up of two main drafting rooms, one on each side of the L, reception areas, archives, conference rooms and a dining room for the staff added later in 1962.



An intermediate little floor on a corner of one of the drafting rooms, accessible by a rung ladder, allows architects to hang prototypes of swinging lamps in order to test their brightness and look. A conference room's wall is shifted toward the exterior in order to create a rooflight to better illuminate drawings attached on the wall. Others walls are shelves like to store the rolls of paper of drawings.



Alvar Aalto ran the office until 1976; his wife Elissa Aalto until 1994. Since 1984 the building has been in the custodianship of the Alvar Aalto Foundation, and today it houses the Alvar Aalto Foundation, the Alvar Aalto Archives and the Alvar Aalto Museum Architectural Heritage.


Antonino Vitale 2011


How to visit


The studio is in Munkkiniemi, a neighborhood on the west side of Helsinki, just one block north of the Aalto House.


You can get there from the city center with tram number 4, direction Munkkiniemi. Get off at Tiilimäki stop; turn back and walk to the intersection with Tiilimäki street, then turn left and go straight on. The building is 400m to the north on this street.


For opening hours and practical visiting information please visit The same site will guide you to the nearby Aalto House also.


The studio is in a residential area that is now a suburb of Helsinki, about 4km northwest of the city center - see map below.