Architects and architecture have played a significant role in bringing Finland to prominence internationally, especially through the works of Alvar Aalto and Eero Saarinen. Other prominent architects from Finland include Eliel Saarinen, Reima Pietilä, Erik Bryggman, Lars Sonck, Marco Casagrande, Arto Sipinen, and Arne Ervi.
There are four main centres in Finland which have exhibitions on architecture, which we list below.
Situated in one of Helsinki's most interesting areas, known as Design District Helsinki, the MFA has a permanent exhibition which explores the history of building construction in the 20th century set against the fluid background of Finnish society. Factors influencing this history, such as economic, political and technological developments are also explored. In addition to the main exhibition, there is always at least one temporary exhibition to enjoy.
Situated on a slope by lake Jyväsjärvi in the city of Jyväskylä, the Alvar Aalto Museum is housed in a building designed by Finland's most famous architect and completed in 1973. In addition to the permanent exhibition of Aalto's work which opened in 1998, the museum also organises exhibitions both in Finland in abroad and functions as an information centre. The museum is also tasked with the important work of preserving his buildings, which it does by maintaining a register of protected buildings, providing expert assistance and by working in close cooperation with the National Board of Antiquities.
Visitors to Helsinki, and people living here, will find that Helsinki City Planning Department's information and exhibition centre, Laituri, provides interesting information on future projects in the city in the areas of architecture, town planning, and traffic & transportation planning. Located in the heart of the city centre near Lasipalatsi Square, the exhibition space is for anyone interested in urban design and allows visitors to freely enjoy temporary exhibitions as well as view all the latest planning projects for the future in Helsinki.
Located in Helsinki City Hall, Virka is both an exhibition centre and information point. Architecture is just one of the subjects dealt with here, the exhibitions presented also deal with the history, people and art of Helsinki from different perspectives. The main exhibition space, and the smaller space called 'Corner', host an average of six changing exhibitions every year. Virka Gallery also hosts concerts, and has its own cinema, Virka Kino. Designed by Aarno Ruusuvuori, this modernistic space is ideal for photographic exhibitions in particular. All exhibitions, events and movie screenings at Virka Gallery and Virka Kino are free, so pop in to see what's on.