Museum of Finnish Architecture

We met with two of the Archivists here, (Anna Autio  and Tomi Arpalahti ) and were very impressed with the extent of their efforts to preserve information. The website mission describes it well:

“The fundamental task of the Museum of Finnish Architecture, one of Finland's national museums, is to collect and distribute knowledge about architecture and increase its understanding among the general public as well as experts. It is an information centre for topical architectural practice, research and critique, oriented toward the future even as it records history. The museum builds a bridge between architecture and its users, and on the other hand it is a link in the interaction of professionals. It focusses on post-1900 architecture.

The museum, established in 1956, has large collections of drawings and photographs, a number of models and an extensive library. It organises exhibitions in Finland and abroad, publishes books and arranges lectures. The picture collections are in charge of the Architecture Archive, the oldest unit, whose beginnings are in the photographic collection of the Finnish Association of Architects founded in 1949.

The Library, originally a part of the Archive, became a separate unit in 1963. Exhibitions have always been the most prominent and far-reaching undertaking of the museum, and from the very start, there has been a vigorous programme of international tours.


The Research unit, established in 1976, is in charge of the museum's research, lectures and special programmes. Publication of books is nowadays assigned to the Publication unit formed in 2001. The publications are sold in the museum bookshop.

The national and international collaboration programmes of the museum include permanent institutions like the Alvar Aalto Medal, the Alvar Aalto Symposium, the Finland Builds (now Finnish Architecture) exhibition, the International Confederation of Architectural Museums ICAM and the International working-party for documentation and conservation of buildings, monuments and sites of the Modern Movement DOCOMOMO.

The Museum of Finnish Architecture is closely involved in the GAUDI network of European architectural institutions.

It belongs to the Advisory Committee of the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion Award for European Architecture and the Nordic organisation of art libraries, Arlis-Norden. It is a member in the International Council of Museums ICOM.

The Museum of Finnish Architecture is one of the oldest of its kind in the world. It was established both to record Finnish built culture and to meet the international demand of material concerning Finnish architecture which had gained an enormous fame by the 1950s.”