Alvar Aalto Medal, carrying the name of the beloved architect and designed by Aalto himself, was founded in 1967 in order to honor creative architectural work. The medal can be given to live persons who have gained merit in the field of creative architecture in a very significant way.

Nowadays the medal is given out every three years, and it was originally founded by the Finnish Assocoation of Architect SAFA, MFA Museum of Finnish Architecture and Finnish Architectural Society. Later Alvar Aalto Foundation and the City of Helsinki joined the medal committee.


Alvar Aalto Medal turned 50 years in 2017. In order to celebraty the honorable history, the medal was handed out exceptionally after a two years' interval. The 2017 medalist is Chinese architect Zhang Ke, whose work was shown in an exhibition at the Museum of Finnish Architecture starting in September 2017.

The international Alvar Aalto Medal jury consisted of the Japanese architect Toshiko Mori, Danish architect Tina Saaby and Finnish architects Asmo Jaaksi and Vesa Oiva.
The world-renowned architect Toshiko Mori heads his eponymous practice, Toshiko Mori Architect, and is the keynote speaker at the Architecture Day seminar on February 3, 2017. Mori’s office creates architectural solutions that improve quality of life and engage in a respectful dialogue with their particular cultural setting.
Tina Saaby has been Copenhagen’s Chief City Architect since 2010, and she has an extensive history of planning experience as head of Witraz Architects. She additionally chairs the advisory board of the Royal Academy of Arts.
Asmo Jaaksi is a founding member of JKMM Architects. Over the past 20 years, JKMM has notched up a formidable list of awards and nominations. Jaaksi is currently supervising the construction of the new Amos Rex Art Museum adjoining Helsinki’s Glass Palace.
Vesa Oiva ranks among Finland’s most accomplished architects of the younger generation. He is the founder of Anttinen Oiva Architects, a practice that has gained recognition for its expressive and user-friendly architecture, particularly through architectural competitions.