‘A delirious deco dream’: former TB sanatorium is now Finland’s most unusual holiday let

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For a limited period, architecture lovers can spend the night in a modernist masterpiece designed by Alvar Aalto

Deep in a forest two hours’ drive west of Helsinki is the deserted Paimio Sanatorium (Paimion Parantola in Finnish). One of the world’s best-preserved buildings from the modernist era, it’s as clean, sleek and mysterious as a medical instrument.

An overnight stay in a remote, disused hospital may not sound enticing. But for architecture and design enthusiasts, some opportunities are impossible to resist – and this one is time-limited. At least part of this building is likely to be converted into a hotel and spa in the coming years. The Alvar Aalto Foundation, which preserves the legacy of Finland’s most celebrated architect, took over the site three years ago from state ownership, and is searching for a way to pay for its upkeep.

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