Report on the future of Paimio Sanatorium completed – a foundation proposed as the owner

Ministry of Education and CultureMinistry of the Environment 18.6.2019 10.03 | Published in English on 19.6.2019 at 14.36
Press release
Paimio Sanatorium, main entrance, outside. Photo Soile Tirilä 2008 / Finnish Heritage Agency - Musketti

A report on a viable business model for Paimio Sanatorium commissioned by the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Ministry of the Environment has been completed. It proposes that the Hospital District of Southwest Finland, the central government, the Alvar Aalto Foundation and the City of Paimio establish a foundation to administrate the sanatorium. The future administration and management of Paimio Sanatorium was discussed at the Government’s supplementary budget negotiations on Tuesday, 18 June.

The primary objective of the foundation would be ensuring that the present condition of the building can be maintained. According to the report, the foundation should define a vision of future operation, on the basis of which funding and users could be found for Paimio Sanatorium and the required renovations could be carried out.

The report proposes that the Hospital District of Southwest Finland transfer the entire sanatorium building and its contents to the foundation without remuneration. The central government would contribute EUR 500,000 to the foundation's equity capital and commit to meeting administration, design and repair costs not exceeding EUR 2.5 million over the next four years. Alvar Aalto Foundation and the City of Paimio would both provide at minimum EUR 30,000 in equity capital for the foundation. These are the marginal conditions for the central government's involvement.

Paimio Sanatorium has potential for cultural and wellbeing tourism. The report suggests that the best business opportunities would be created by a multi-purpose model in which the building would be used by a number of operators in the health and wellbeing sector. Creating international cooperation networks would also be important in terms of successful business.

The operating model proposed in the report was welcomed at the Government’s supplementary budget negotiations on Tuesday, 18 June.

Annika Saarikko, Minister of Science and Culture, was there in her role as Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services when the recently completed report was commissioned in January 2019.

”I am happy to have this opportunity as Minister of Science and Culture to promote a secure future for Paimio Sanatorium, together with Krista Mikkonen, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change”, says Minister Saarikko.

“Safeguarding the future of Paimio Sanatorium is important due to the building’s significant cultural heritage value. The report lays a solid foundation for this work”, notes Minister Mikkonen.

The report was completed by Heikki Alanen, Master of Laws trained on the bench, and Olavi Hiekka, M.Sc. (Tech.).

Paimio Sanatorium – Alvar and Aino Aalto’s breakthrough

Paimio Sanatorium was the work that secured the breakthrough of Alvar and Aino Aalto and, of all buildings designed by them, the best known internationally. Constructed in 1929–1933, the building housed a tuberculosis sanatorium until the 1960s and became a general hospital following renovations in 1974–1979.

Paimio Sanatorium is protected under the Act on the Protection of Buildings. This Act does not safeguard the unique furniture of the building, however, and preserving it as part of the interior is essential for the sanatorium’s architectural and cultural heritage value. Since 2004, the building has been on UNESCO’s tentative list of world heritage sites.

The activities of the Hospital Region of Southwest Finland at Paimio Sanatorium came to an end in 2015, and the building was put on the market in June 2018.

Proposal for ownership and administration arrangements and a viable business model. Report commissioned by the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Ministry of the Environment (available only in Finnish)

Inquiries:

Riitta Kaivosoja, Director General, Ministry of Education and Culture, tel. +358 2953 30129, [email protected]

Päivi Salonen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Education and Culture, tel. +358 2953 30281, [email protected]

Director General Helena Säteri, Ministry of the Environment, tel. +358 40 779 6666, [email protected]

Tommi Laanti, Senior Housing Adviser, Ministry of the Environment, tel. +358 295 250 146, firstname.lastn[email protected]

Rapporteurs: Heikki Alanen, Master of Laws trained on the bench, tel. +358 50 568 8066 and Olavi Hiekka, M.Sc. (Tech.), tel. +358 400 252 394