A review by a guest about the Town Hall experience and apartment Henrik, originally published online.
“The idea of being able to live in a space of cultural heritage and international importance is truly a rare and incredible treat of an experience. Having learned about Aalto and his work in university, there was a reverence for his work that I had that was not disappointed by the actual experience of the spaces. What is really remarkable about Aalto’s works is that they are well-used and have withstood the test of time – a seemingly unusual characteristic of many modern works of architecture.
The steward of the Town Hall, Harri, showcases the best of Finnish hospitality – he welcomed us warmly and his tour of the building was accompanied by great tips for exploring the region of Jyväskylä too. We took full advantage of them and we had a truly interesting and restful visit. Though Säynätsalo is a modest town, we were made to feel completely at ease amongst the locals and despite our inability to speak or understand Finnish, everyone was most patient and gracious – especially the bus drivers!
From a historic preservation standpoint, what Harri and his colleaggues are doing to keep the Town Hall and Aalto’s legacy alive is truly remarkable. This is not a static vessel of Aalto’s design frozen in time. It continues to be a vital part of the town (inlcuding the most amazing library), albeit with some alternate uses, and the fact that it can be enjoyed and studied intimately with the option of living in the spaces, is something I haven’t yet seen with other preserved spaces. I hope more people realize what a gem this is and have the chance to visit the town, but also Finland in general. Thank you to Harri and your compatriots for such an amazing opportunity and memory!”