Posted by: Debra Kolkka | November 21, 2017

Architecture and music

I had a special treat on my Helsinki stopover this time. Some lovely friends took me outside the city to Lake Tuusula in Jarvenpaa. We visited Villa Kokkonen, a house designed by Alvar Aalto, Finland’s most famous architect. It is one of the few private houses he designed.

The house was designed for composer Joonas Kokkonen. The outstanding feature of the interior is the music room where the Kokkonen’s grand piano still stands. It was Aalto’s intention to build a “Home for music”.

Unfortunately I can’t show you the interior of the house as photos are not allowed, but I can show you the exterior. We had the very enthusiastic Antti Pesonen to show us around. He and his charming wife, Elina Viitaila, live in the house and open it to the public.

It was a bleak autumn day, but Antti’s sunny personality brightened up our visit. He walked with us around the house and pointed out its features.

Villa Kokkonen

The house is entirely made of wood and designed to blend in with its surroundings. It was completed in 1969 and today looks just as it did then.

Villa Kokkonen

Villa Kokkonen

Villa Kokkonen

The windows reflect the landscape around the house.

Villa Kokkonen

Villa Kokkonen

Villa Kokkonen

Villa Kokkonen

The pool outside the sauna is not in use any more, but is a delightful feature of the garden.

Villa Kokkonen

An absolute highlight of the visit is the performance by Antti and Elina. Antti’s beautiful voice backed by Elina’s excellent piano playing fills the room. It was purpose built for the composer so the acoustics are perfect. Coffee and cake were excellent too, thank you Elina.

Villa Kokkonen

Photo from Villa Kokkonen website

Visting Villa Kokkonen is a special experience. Anyone with an interest in architecture would absolutely love it and the beautiful performance by Antti and Elina will delight you.

If you are visiting Helsinki take the 30 minute drive to Lake Tuusula for a great day out. There are several other houses to visit, including the house of Sibelius, Finland’s most famous composer (open in summer) and the house of Finnish artist Pekka Halonen.

I’m going back in summer to see the area in a completely different light.

Villa Kokkonen

Tuulimyllyntntie 5


Phone. 358 414326166



  1. Yes lets go for a day trip next summer…

    • Definitely. I liked the winter landscape but I can imagine that it would be gorgeous in summer.

  2. I do like the architectural style of that villa.

    • It is a stunning house. I will definitely be back in summer.

  3. Wonderful! Certainly, worth a visit.

    • We had a great day.

  4. I’d love to do that. I like the way the trees are reflected in the windows – i’d love to see the interior.

    • I wish I could show you. It was delightful.

  5. Alvar Aalto is one of my all time favourite! I own one of his vases at least 😁

    • He is one of Finland’s greatest designers, so was his wife.

  6. Now that sounds like a great way to spend an autumn day!! See you soon…Jxx

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