Towards anew – Sanatorium’s 2023

“Year 2023 The Sanatorium celebrated 90th anniversary and turned towards new direction”, Mirkku Kullberg CEO of Paimio Sanatorium Foundation says. Tasked with taking care of this exceptional site, our role is not only as agents of preservation”, she continues.

The Sanatorium took the first steps to become a platform of development, learning and exchange that promotes the urgently needed skills of taking care through design of which the Aaltos were an emblem”, Kullberg says.                                            

“We built, and we will build with optimism on the Aaltos heritage of future-making.”

Making the mission alive

Turning Paimio Sanatorium vision alive with an ambitious program of conferences, residencies, exhibitions and workshops is the task of curator Joseph Grima, globally recognized thinker and doer in architecture and design. He was appointed as Paimio Sanatorium Foundation curator in May.

Having the opportunity to transform this unique site into a new platform for encounter and debate that can shape the present and future architectural discourse is an incredible honour and responsibility” Joseph Grima says.

He sees this as a much-needed opportunity to return collective attention to the values of care and collective wellbeing this building stands for.

Together with Paimio Sanatorium Joseph Grima released Manifesto to guide and highlight the thinking behind the preserving Aaltos’ design ethos and bringing it to our time.

You can read Manifesto here >>

Paimio Sanatorium Foundation’s first interdisciplinary gathering, Spirit of Paimio was a huge success

Spirit of Paimio Conference explored contemporary approaches not only to design but also to community-building, emphasizing practices that regenerate rather than deplete.

Aaltos’ design ethos, as expressed in their work for the Paimio Sanatorium, teaches us that architecture isn’t just about constructing buildings. It’s about creating holistic systems that consider the physical, psychological, and emotional well-being of individuals and communities”, Joseph Grima tells us about the conference.

Inspired by the iconic Paimio Sanatorium and the profound connection between architecture and care, the event brought together enlightened visionaries and thinkers from around the world who generously shared their knowledge and experience with Finnish high end architecture, design, art and media professionals.

Spirit of Paimio conferences goal wasn’t to revisit sites historical significance but to foster modern discussions around its foundational principles. As global challenges continue to evolve, such conversations on the role of design in societal health and well-being are becoming increasingly crucial. The extraordinary line up of keynote speakers brought their knowledge and expertise in contemporary architectural production and community-building to bear on the question of how Paimio can redefine its future trajectory as an institution, particularly in the light of the challenges we face today. 

“The legacy of Paimio Sanatorium lives on strongly, and its spirit continues to inspire us to redefine “taking care” through design”, Mirkku Kullberg CEO of Paimio says, “Date for Spirit of Paimio 24 is already set.”

Read more about Spirit of Paimio Conference 2024 here >>

Human Perspective as graphic design

The other side of human centric design was showcased in The Paimio Sanatorium 90 – Human Perspective poster competition. It was received with tremendous enthusiasm both in Finland and abroad. The international interest and overwhelming number of entries, 444 in total, took the jury by surprise. The participants were invited to explore Aino and Alvar Aaltos vision of the human relationship with the environment, architecture and design.

It was great to see, how young and open-minded designers interpret Aino and Alvar Aalto’s life’s work and the “human perspective” theme’” Ilkka Kärkkäinen, chair of the jury says.

Best of the posters were exhibited in sanatorium, but also as pop exhibitions in Helsinki.

The most important thing for me has been to notice that poster art is alive and well even in the digital age. And the fact that timeless, good architecture and design continues to interest new generations”, Ilkka Kärkkäinen continues.

The poster competition was organized by  Paimio Sanatorium Foundation and Grafia, the Association of Visual Communication Designers in Finland,  together with Finnish Design Shop and so_helsinki.

Read more about the poster competition here >>

Artek celebrated the 90-year-old Paimio Sanatorium with an anniversary collection

To support the Paimio Sanatorium Foundation in its mission and to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Sanatorium’s opening, Artek released a celebratory Paimio Sanatorium Anniversary Collection with donations to The Foundation from sales.

The Armchair 41, also known as Paimio Armchair, is considered one of Alvar Aalto’s most stunning masterpieces and was originally designed for the sanatorium in 1932. As Paimio Sanatorium Anniversary Edition, Armchair 41 has a seat and frame in oiled natural birch, in a strictly limited and numbered edition of 90 pieces.

In the collection Stool 60 was made available in three colours matching the building’s original colour scheme as designed by Alvar Aalto and artist Eino Kauria. The selected colours are a nod to the patients’ everyday life at the Sanatorium, where forest walks (green), fresh air (blue) and sun bathing (yellow) were considered to be an integral component of their treatment plan.

Anniversary collection is available for purchase at Artek stores.

Read more about the collection here >>

Summer party for the friends, old and new

Last but not least we held a genuine all weekend long summer Finnish summer party on the 17th and 18th of June, on The Sanatorium’s birthday.
Everyone was invited to spend the summer weekend days on the Sanatorium grounds and celebrate it’s past and future. The charming celebratory program included writer meetings, a summer market, music and all kinds of experiences for the whole family.

And of course the doors were open all year round. With record breaking numbers of visitor and overnight stays more and more people were finding The Sanatorium as a place to breathe, reflect and regenerate, just like it was a place to breath nine decades ago. No wonder highly respected The Guardian praised the delirious deco dream as Finland’s most unusual place to stay.

The Sanatorium’s healing power is a strong as ever.


More than just a building, Paimio Sanatorium has become seen as a world-renowned masterpiece of modern architecture. Subscribe our Newsletter and be first to learn more about Paimio Sanatorium’s events and exhibitions.

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