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A room with white walls. On the right side of the photo, there is a window. In front of the window there are plenty of chairs designed by Aalto.
Studio Aalto in Munkkiniemi, Helsinki. photo: Maija Holma / Alvar Aalto -säätiö.

Proposal to enter Alvar Aalto’s architecture on the UNESCO World Heritage tentative list

Finland proposes listing a set of thirteen sites representing Alvar Aalto’s humane architecture as a cultural heritage site on the tentative list of UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

The set of sites to be included in the tentative list consists of thirteen buildings and areas designed by Alvar Aalto’s office, which form a coherent whole that, according to the experts’ assessment, has a chance of inclusion in the World Heritage List. The set of sites may change during the production of the actual World Heritage List proposal.

The nominated sites are Studio Aalto, Aalto House, Finlandia Hall, main building of the Social Insurance Institution and Helsinki Hall of Culture (Kulttuuritalo), Jyväskylä University Campus, Muuratsalo Experimental House and Säynätsalo Town Hall in Jyväskylä, Paimio Hospital (formerly Paimio Sanatorium), Seinäjoki Administrative and Cultural Centre, Sunila Sulphate Pulp Mill and Residential Area in Kotka, Villa Mairea in Pori, and the Church of the Three Crosses (Vuoksenniska Church) in Imatra.

“The national tentative list is a fine set of sites complementing our existing group of world heritage sites and it is in line with the policies of the national world heritage strategy. The sites on the tentative list represent our national cultural heritage in a magnificent way, and we can be globally proud of such a heritage, too,” said Annika Saarikko, Minister of Science and Culture.

Decisions on the cultural heritage sites to be included on the tentative list are made nationally. In Finland, the decisions made by the Ministry of Education and Culture are based on a proposal prepared by the Finnish Heritage Agency. The national tentative list was last updated in 2004.

The World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for having cultural, historical, scientific or other form of significance. The sites are judged to contain cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. To be selected, a World Heritage Site must be a somehow unique landmark which is geographically and historically identifiable and has special cultural or physical significance.