Alvar Aalto in Raseborg
Did you know that Raseborg is an Alvar Aalto City? The famous Finnish architect and designer Alvar Aalto (1898–1976) was a pioneer of modern architecture. His works are still admired all over the world and his imprint on the design world will last forever. You can admire Alvar Aalto's architecture in several places in Finland and also abroad. In Raseborg, we can boast to have two buildings designed by Alvar Aalto.
Ekenäs Savings Bank
In the middle of Ekenäs city center you can find Ekecenter, a marble and brick building designed by Alvar Aalto for Ekenäs Savings Bank. Aalto got a free rein to design the building and its interiors. The construction work began in the summer of 1967, and the building was completed already that same fall. The bank moved in and the Piazza restaurant, also designed by Aalto, opened in the second floor of the building. The restaurant is open for lunch and it also offers catering services. Inspired by Aalto, the Piazza Restaurant also offers a special Bank Manager’s menu, which includes a brief introduction to the fascinating history of the building.
Villa Skeppet is another building representing the characteristic style of Alvar Aalto. The history of the building originates from the friendship of Alvar Aalto and the author Göran Schildt. Aalto and Schildt met for the first time already while studying, but they did not become close friends until many years later. They were both interested in e.g. Mediterranean culture and made several trips together.
When Göran Schildt lost his home, Villa Itaka in Helsinki, the architect friend offered to design a new home for Schildt. Schildt only had to choose a suitable lot. He chose a quiet place close to nature in his wife Christine’s hometown Ekenäs. Aalto designed Villa Skeppet as a gift for the couple. The planning and construction of the villa was done in 1969-70, the building being the last home Aalto designed. After Aalto’s death in 1976, Göran Schildt wrote a multipart biography of his good friend.
In Villa Skeppet Alvar Aalto carried out many of the distinctive ideas and design solutions that he had developed over the years. Aalto was inspired by Göran Schildt’s great passion for sailing and Mediterranean culture and made this part of Villa Skeppet’s design. The most outstanding feature of the building is the sail-like roof, which connects the two different parts of the building. The living room is characterized by large windows overlooking the beautiful garden and the sea, as well as by an open fireplace sculptured by Aalto himself.
In 2018, Villa Skeppet was donated to the Christine and Göran Schildt Foundation. The foundation plans to open the villa for the public in December 2020.
Visiting the buildings
The Ekenäs Savings Bank building can be viewed at Stationsvägen 6, 10600 Raseborg. The entrance of Restaurant Piazza is located in the passage between Ystadsgatan and Stationsvägen.
Villa Skeppet can be admired from the outside at Snäcksundsvägen 8, 10600 Raseborg. Please note that it is not allowed to enter the property.
You can read more about Alvar Aalto and his work at visit.alvaraalto.fi.