Opening hours
10.00 – 18.00

From the Surf to the Sidewalk – When Skateboarding Culture and Architecture Meet

The exhibition shows how the free-form design of the Villa Mairea swimming pool, by Alvar Aalto, found its way to the United States and how a new phenomenon of urban culture emerged in California. The kidney-shaped pool has, over decades and through meandering paths, become a symbol of pool skateboarding.

The exhibition delves deeper into the story of Villa Mairea’s famous swimming pool. The idea of freeform pool
design traveled from Finland to the United States with architect Thomas Church, who visited Aalto, and about
ten years after the Villa Mairea pool, the Donnell Garden pool was created, from which the design language
spread to other parts of California. When Californian pools were emptied due to drought in the 1970s, they
became available for skateboarders to use, and the rest is history.

Mustavalkoinen kuva Alvar Aallon suunnittelemasta Villa Mairean uima-altaasta

"The exhibition aims to open up skateboarding culture in its relationship to the city and architecture. Skateboarding thrives in the city."

From the Surf to the Sidewalk is a crash course in skateboarding culture. It presents and explores the relationship between skateboarding and architecture from the time when skateboarding first emerged. The exhibition dives into the world of music, magazines, films, skateboard graphics, style, clothing, and skateboarding in the streets and skateparks.

The exhibition also offers audiences interested in architecture and the cityscape the opportunity to view our built environment in a different way.

The exhibition is curated by Juho Haavisto and produced by the Alvar Aalto Foundation.

See other exhibitions