Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Architecture and Technology in Paimio Sanatorium

Version 1 : Received: 30 August 2018 / Approved: 30 August 2018 / Online: 30 August 2018 (10:47:12 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Heikinheimo, M. Paimio Sanatorium under Construction. Arts 2018, 7, 78. Heikinheimo, M. Paimio Sanatorium under Construction. Arts 2018, 7, 78.


Alvar Aalto created innovative architecture in his breakthrough work, Paimio Sanatorium, located in Southwestern Finland and designed between 1928 and 1933. The technological systems in construction, such as the concrete frame, electricity, air conditioning, and lifts, developed rapidly in the interwar period and Aalto drew influences from the culturally radical modernistic discourse around the CIAM organisation and felt that architecture should respond to the demands of the age. Architecture is an applied form of art, and symbolic expression in architecture is a system with its logic. As a contrast, a building is a technological system and forms a framework within which to solve practical problems. Thus, as a technological system, the building is both material and social, during its construction and after. The theoretical underpinning for the study was the actor-network theory developed since the 1980s by the French sociologist Bruno Latour. This study clearly showed the importance of a collaborative effort in a building project. The most famous architectural solutions for Paimio Sanatorium, a demanding institutional building project, came into being in circumstances where the architect-innovator, Aalto, managed to create a viable and robust hybrid that merged collective competence with material factors.


Alvar Aalto, Modernism, Paimio Sanatorium, Finland, Bruno Latour, actor-network theory, history of technology, history of architecture


Arts and Humanities, Architecture

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