The building was completed in , and soon after received critical acclaim both in Finland and abroad. The building served exclusively as a tuberculosis sanatorium until the early s, when it was converted into a general hospital. Today the building is owned by Turku University Hospital but it's not functioning as a hospital. Building has been a private rehabilitation center for children since Aalto received the commission to design the building after winning an architectural competition for the project held in Though the building represents the 'modernist' period of Aalto's career, and followed many of the tenets of Le Corbusier 's pioneering ideas for modernist architecture e.
For instance, the main entrance is marked by a nebulous-shaped canopy unlike anything being designed at that time by the older generation of modernist architects. The building is widely regarded as one of his most important early designs — designed at the same time as the Vyborg Library. Aalto and his wife Aino designed all of the sanatorium's furniture and interiors. Some of the furniture, most notably the Paimio chair, is still in production by Artek.
Aalto's starting point for the design of the sanatorium was to make the building itself a contributor to the healing process. He liked to call the building a "medical instrument". For instance, particular attention was paid to the design of the patient bedrooms: Aalto designed special silent basins, so that the patient would not disturb the other while washing. Aalto placed the lamps in the room out of the patients' line of vision and painted the ceiling a relaxing grayish green so as to avoid glare.
Each patient had their own specially designed cupboard, fixed to the wall and off the floor so as to aid in cleaning beneath it. In the early years the only known "cure" for tuberculosis was complete rest in an environment with clean air and sunshine. Thus on each floor of the building, at the end of the patient bedroom wing, were sunning balconies, where weak patients could be pulled out in their beds. In , while still a student, Aalto made his first trip abroad, travelling via Stockholm to Gothenburg , where he even briefly found work with the architect Arvid Bjerke.
At that same time he also wrote articles for the Jyväskylä newspaper Sisä-Suomi under the pseudonym Remus. On October 6, , Aalto married architect Aino Marsio ; their honeymoon journey to Italy was Aalto's first trip there, though Aino had previously made a study trip there. On their return, they continued with a number of local projects, notably the Jyväskylä Worker's Club, which incorporated a number of motifs which they had studied during their trip, most notably the decorations of the Festival hall modelled on the Rucellai Sepulchre in Florence by Leon Battista Alberti.
Following winning the architecture competition for the Southwest Finland Agricultural Cooperative building in the Aaltos moved their office to Turku. They had made contact with the city's most progressive architect, Erik Bryggman , already before moving, and they then began collaborating with him, most notably on the Turku Fair of Aalto's biographer, Göran Schildt, claimed that Bryggman was the only architect with whom Aalto cooperated as an equal.
The Aaltos designed and built a joint house-office —36 for themselves in Munkkiniemi , Helsinki, but later —56 had a purpose-built office erected in the same neighbourhood — nowadays the former is a "home museum" and the latter the premises of the Alvar Aalto Academy. In the young Aaltos designed and had built for themselves a summer cottage in Alajärvi , Villa Flora. Aino Aalto died of cancer in In Aalto married architect Elissa Mäkiniemi died , who had been working as an assistant in his office.
In Aalto designed and had built a summer cottage, the so-called Experimental House , for himself and his new wife in Muuratsalo in Central Finland.