Kiljavannummi tuberculosis sanatorium, built at Nurmijärvi, was designed both as a rural community sanatorium and an institute that could serve the needs of the city of Helsinki. The architect Jussi Paatela was an experienced designer of sanatoria. Before Kiljavannummi, the tuberculosis sanatoria of Kinkomaa and Ahvenisto had been completed to his designs. The sanatorium building as such is divided into four parts. At Kiljavannummi, the centre is made up by a nine-storey tower. To its south is a long, five-storey side building containing the wards and open-air wards. Lower, three-storey wings meet the tower at its northern edge and north-eastern corner at right angles and contain the research and treatment department and the housekeeping spaces. In respect of the placing of the building components, Paatela’s design is highly reminiscent of Alvar Aalto’s Paimio sanatorium. At Kiljavannummi, however, the building components appear to perform, as it were, more functionally. The wards are located further from the bustle of the main entrance. The research and treatment department is linked rectilinearly so that the spaces serve each other appropriately. Moreover, the high building components do not cast shadows on one another as they do at Paimio. The flat-roofed terraced accommodation for staff and their families recalls the Paimio residential buildings in both siting and exterior. Representing international modernism in its general appearance, Paatela’s Kiljavannummi sanatorium is a worthy member of the series of modernist sanatoria in Finland.
Text: Juhana Lahti / 20th Century Architecture, MFA