Design Talks: Alvar Aalto's Pioneer Life & Greatest Works
One of the greatest names in Finnish design and architecture, Alvar Aalto was a pioneer in his life. As a central figure of the mid-century modernism, the path that the architect took as a design line brought the world into a whole new perspective. With works primarily in Finland from buildings to interiors, the life of Alvar Aalto had a lot to teach us.
A key reference point for architecture in Nordic countries, the artist who never called himself an artist, left an incredible portfolio – in interior features with furniture, lamps and glassware design.
The first wave of modernist influences comes in the shape of the Paimio Sanatorium and Viipuri Library where we can see what Aalto calls Functionalist Period. Even though with clear shapes of the design movement, Aalto had different experiences and tries until it was just his own way.
Although many designers opted for the contemporary design style, Alvar Aalto’s greatest works come in the shape of public buildings – libraries, town halls, churches. One of the most praised being Säynätsalo Town Hall in Finland and MIT’s Baker House Dormitory in the United States.
Heilig Geist Kirche (1962)
Maison Louis Carré (1959)
And finally – the Aalto Studio (1955). Designed by himself, the office was only a short walk from Aalto’s home that ran the office until his death in 1976. After the leadership of Elissa Aalto until 1994, the office went into the custodianship of Alvar Aalto Foundation in 1984 and is nowadays the – Alvar Aalto Foundation, the Alvar Aalto Academy and the Alvar Aalto Museum Architectural Heritage.