Muurame church

Finland Alvar Aalto Nordic Classicism
Muurame church
Muuramen kirkko
Muurame church in 2007
62°07′30″N 25°39′51″E / 62.125116°N 25.664287°E / 62.125116; 25.664287Coordinates: 62°07′30″N 25°39′51″E / 62.125116°N 25.664287°E / 62.125116; 25.664287
StatusParish church
Functional statusActive
Architect(s)Alvar Aalto
Architectural typeNordic Classicism[1]
Number of spires1
MaterialsBrick (plastered)[2]
ParishMuurame parish

Muurame church, located in Muurame, central Finland, was designed by the Finnish architect Alvar Aalto, and completed in 1929.[2]


It was the first Aalto-designed church, and the only one of his many church designs in the 1920s, to be built, and represents his transition from Nordic Classicism to the Functionalist style he is mostly known for.[2][1] As a transitional work, the Muurame church has been undervalued among Aalto's designs by many critics, and even the architect himself called it his 'aberration of youth' (nuoruudensynti).[2][3]

The church's elongated-nave, single-aisle design and campanile (belfry) were influenced by Aalto's honeymoon trip to Italy a few years earlier, and the churches he saw there.[1][2][4]


The church was comprehensively restored in 2016 to its original design.[2] Most notably, the interior colour scheme was changed from its pre-renovation white and light wood — often associated with Aalto's minimalist style — to the original, more colourful one consisting of bright blue and red ceiling and dark grey fixtures.[5]

Muurame church interior before (left, viewed towards the chancel) and after (right, viewed towards the entrance, with the organ above) the 2016 renovation which restored the original colour scheme.


  1. ^ a b c "Muurame Church". Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Alvar Aallon nuoruudensynti remontoidaan alkuperäiseen loistoonsa" [Alvar Aalto's 'aberration of youth' to be restored to its original glory] (in Finnish). Yle. 31 March 2015. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  3. ^ "Muuramen kirkon arkkitehtuuria" [Muurame church architecture]. (in Finnish). Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  4. ^ Sinisalo, Antero (1962). Finland's Most Beautiful Churches. Gummerus. p. 62. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  5. ^ "Peruskorjattu kirkko tunnustaa taas värejään" [Renovated church shows its true colours again] (in Finnish). Keskisuomalainen. 15 May 2016. Retrieved 9 September 2020.