Detmerode Church and Parish Centre
Harry Gullichsen, general director of the Ahlström company and chairman of the Pori Chamber of Commerce, in 1940 persuaded the river valley municipalities Kokemäki, Harjavalta, Nakkila, Noormarkku, Ulvila, Kullaa, and Pori rural municipality to commission Finland’s first regional plan proper from Alvar Aalto. This pioneering effort proved useful to the wood-processing company, which wished to rationalize production all the way from felling and log floating on the river to industrial processing and shipping from the harbour, all of which was done within the valley region.
The local governments’ interest was in a general solution to transport problems and coordination of settlement. Aalto sought to find an overall solution giving equal weight to geographic, economic, demographic, historical, and cultural considerations. His goal was to supplement the traditional livelihood “farming” with a growing small-scale industry, concentrating new settlement in the old villages, expanding existing schools and other services, and designating appropriate recreation areas. Secondary roads connected the population centres, while nearby production facilities were placed on either side of the existing double-track railway line which followed the river course and along a new road for heavy traffic.
The plan included an experiment with cooperative agriculture in the village of Nakkila. Local interest was lively, and intermunicipal cooperation was developed gradually on the basis of Swedish models. Aalto’s regional plan formed the basis for building development for some ten years.