The highly valued Europa Nostra Medal has been awarded to the Villa Tammekann in Estonia, a house designed by architect Alvar Aalto and owned by the the Turku University Foundation.
The medal is the most prestigious of the Europa Nostra Awards. It is also the first Europa Nostra recognition given to a building in Estonia. The Villa Tammekann is the only building by Alvar Aalto located in the Baltic countries. The official award ceremonies take place in Copenhagen on Saturday, March 23, 2002.
The Europe Nostra is an organization for the protection of cultural traditions and cultural heritage. It is also intended to provide a forum for debate on the preservation of cultural heritage and to take initiatives in furthering cultural traditions. The organization has active relationships with the European Union, the Council of Europe as well as UNESCO. The Europe Nostra gives out various awards and grants each year.
The Europa Nostra Heritage Medal awarded to the University of Turku's base in Tartu, the Villa Tammekann, owned by the Turku University Foundation is the most prestigious of these annually awarded acknowledgements. This year the medal was awarded to five other projects in addition to the Villa Tammekann. The Medal was awarded for "the exemplary and carefully planned successful rehabilitation of an early villa by the young architect Alvar Aalto to its originally intended design."
- This is a tribute to the Turku University Foundation's ambitious work in the field of cultural values. It encourages the Foundation to continue its efforts in the preservation of cultural heritage and in supporting efforts by the University of Turku in advancing Estonian-Finnish relations, said the chairman of the Villa Tammekann Building Committee, architect Benito Casagrande on hearing of the award.
Tapani Mustonen, the architect in charge of the restoration work, describes the receiving of the award as unique.
- We are truly satisfied that this valuable project has been recognized. It is also a great tribute to Finnish architecture and especially to Alvar Aalto's early work, says Mustonen of the award.
After the formal award ceremonies, a celebration dinner for the recipients will be held at the Christiansborg Castle, hosted by Europa Nostra's President, HRH Prince Henrik of Denmark accompanied by HM Queen Margrethe II.