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AlvarAalto

FromWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

HugoAlvarHenrikAalto(3February189811
May1976)wasaFinnisharchitectanddesigner,as
wellasasculptorandpainter.[1]Hisworkincludes
architecture,furniture,textilesandglassware.Aalto's
earlycareerrunsinparallelwiththerapideconomic
growthandindustrializationofFinlandduringthefirst
halfofthetwentiethcenturyandmanyofhisclients
wereindustrialistsamongtheseweretheAhlstrm
Gullichsenfamily.[2]Thespanofhiscareer,fromthe
1920stothe1970s,isreflectedinthestylesofhis
work,rangingfromNordicClassicismoftheearly
work,toarationalInternationalStyleModernism
duringthe1930stoamoreorganicmoderniststyle
fromthe1940sonwards.Hisfurnituredesignswere
consideredScandinavianModern.[3]Whatistypical
forhisentirecareer,however,isaconcernfordesign
asaGesamtkunstwerk,atotalworkofartwhereby
hetogetherwithhisfirstwifeAinoAaltowould
designnotjustthebuilding,butgivespecial
treatmentstotheinteriorsurfacesanddesign
furniture,lamps,andfurnishingsandglassware.The
AlvarAaltoMuseum,designedbyAaltohimself,is
locatedinwhatisregardedashishomecity
Jyvskyl.[4]

Contents
1Biography
1.1Life
1.2Architecturecareer
1.2.1Earlycareer:classicism
1.2.2Earlycareer:functionalism
1.2.3Midcareer:
experimentation
1.2.4Maturecareer:
monumentalism
2Furniturecareer
3Awards
4Works
4.1Significantbuildings
4.2Furnitureandglassware
5Quotes
6CritiqueofAalto'sarchitecture
7Memorials
8Seealso
9Notes

AlvarAalto

AlvarandElissaAaltointhe1950s
Born

HugoAlvarHenrikAalto
3February1898
Kuortane,Finland

Died

11May1976(aged78)
Helsinki,Finland

Nationality

Finnish

Occupation

Architect

Spouse(s)

AinoMarsio
(m.192549herdeath)
ElissaMkiniemi
(m.195276hisdeath)

Children

Awards

RIBAGoldMedal
AIAGoldMedal

Buildings

PaimioSanatorium
SyntsaloTownHall
ViipuriLibrary
VillaMairea
BakerHouse
FinlandiaHall

Projects

HelsinkiCityCentre

Design

SavoyVase
PaimioChair

9Notes
10References
11Sources
12Furtherreading
13Externallinks

Biography
Life
HugoAlvarHenrikAaltowasborninKuortane,Finland.[6]His
father,JohanHenrikAalto,wasaFinnishspeakinglandsurveyor
andhismother,Selly(Selma)Matilda(neHackstedt)wasa
Swedishspeakingpostmistress.WhenAaltowas5yearsold,the
familymovedtoAlajrvi,andfromtheretoJyvskylinCentral
Finland.AaltostudiedattheJyvskylLyceumschool,wherehe
completedhisbasiceducationin1916andtookdrawinglessons
fromalocalartistnamedJonasHeiska.In1916hethenenrolledto
studyarchitectureattheHelsinkiUniversityofTechnology.His
AlvarAaltoportrayedonastamp
studieswereinterruptedbytheFinnishCivilWar,whichhefought
publishedin1976
in.HefoughtonthesideoftheWhiteArmyandfoughtattheBattle
ofLnkipohjaandtheBattle
ofTampere.[7]Hebuilthis
firstpieceofarchitecture
whilestillastudent,ahouse
forhisparents,atAlajrvi.[8]
Afterwards,hecontinuedhis
education,graduatingin
1921.[9]Inthesummerof
ThesignatureofAlvarAaltoon
1922hebeganhisofficial
thewallofJyvskyl'stheatre
militaryservice,finishingat
building.
theHaminareserveofficer
trainingschool,andwas
promotedtoreservesecondlieutenantinJune1923.[10]
AuditoriumoftheViipuriMunicipal
Libraryinthe1930s.

In1920,whilestillastudent,Aaltomadehisfirsttripabroad,
travellingviaStockholmtoGothenburg,whereheevenbriefly
foundworkwiththearchitectArvidBjerke.[11]In1922,he
accomplishedhisfirstindependentpieceattheIndustrial
ExpositioninTampere.[8]In1923hereturnedtoJyvskyl,
whereheopenedhisfirstarchitecturaloffice,[12]underthename
'AlvarAalto,ArchitectandMonumentalArtist'.Atthatsame
timehealsowrotearticlesfortheJyvskylnewspaperSis
AlvarAaltoStudio,Helsinki(1954
[10]
SuomiunderthepseudonymRemus. Duringthistime,he
56)
designedanumberofsmallsinglefamilyhousesinJyvskyl,
andtheoffice'sworkloadsteadilyincreased.In1925,hemarried
architectAinoMarsio.[13][nb1]TheirhoneymoonjourneytoItalywasAalto'sfirsttripthere,thoughAino

hadpreviouslymadeastudytripthere.[13]Thelattertriptogethersealedanintellectualbondwiththe
cultureoftheMediterraneanregionthatwastoremainimportanttoAaltofortherestofhislife.Ontheir
return,theycontinuedwithanumberoflocalprojects,notably
theJyvskylWorker'sClub.However,theAaltosmovedtheir
officetoTurkuin1927,andstartedcollaboratingwitharchitect
ErikBryggman.Theofficemovedagainin1933to
Helsinki.[12][14]
TheAaltosdesignedandbuiltajointhouseoffice(193536)for
themselvesinMunkkiniemi,Helsinki,butlater(195456)hada
purposebuiltofficeerectedinthesameneighbourhood
nowadaystheformerisa"housemuseum"andthelatterthe
premisesoftheAlvarAaltoAcademy.In1926theyoungAaltos
designedandhadbuiltasummercottageinAlajrvi,VillaFlora.
In1938,theAaltosvisitedtheUnitedStatesforthefirsttime,[12]
ostensiblytovisittheFinnishPavilion,whichtheyhaddesigned,
fortheNewYorkWorldFairofthefollowingyear.[15]Aino
Aaltodiedofcancerin1949.AinoandAlvarAaltohad2
children,adaughterJohanna"Hanni"Alanen,bornAalto,1925,
andasonHamilkarAalto,1928.In1952Aaltomarriedarchitect
ElissaMkiniemi(died1994),whohadbeenworkingasan
assistantinhisoffice.In1952Aaltodesignedandhadbuilta
summercottage,thesocalledExperimentalHouse,forhimself
andhisnewwifeinMuuratsaloinCentralFinland.AlvarAalto
diedon11May1976,inHelsinki,[9]andisburiedinthe
HietaniemicemeteryinHelsinki.

AlvarAaltoStudio,Helsinki(1954
56)

MainBuildingoftheJyvskyl
University(1955)

Architecturecareer
Earlycareer:classicism
Althoughheissometimesregardedasamongthefirstandmost
influentialarchitectsofNordicmodernism,acloserexamination
ofthehistoricalfactsrevealsthatAalto(whileapioneerin
Finland)closelyfollowedandhadpersonalcontactswithother
pioneersinSweden,inparticularGunnarAsplund[16][17]and
HeiligGeistChurchWolfsburg
SvenMarkelius.Aalto1998,p.76Whattheyandmanyothersof
(195862),photo:Gnshirt2009. [5]
thatgenerationintheNordiccountrieshadincommonwasthat
theystartedofffromaclassicaleducationandwerefirst
designingclassicalarchitecture,thoughwhathistoriansnowcallNordicClassicism[18]astylethathad
beenareactiontothepreviousdominantstyleofNationalRomanticismbeforemoving,inthelate
1920s,towardsModernism.OnreturningtoJyvskylin1923toestablishhisownarchitect'soffice,
Aaltobusiedhimselfwithanumberofsinglefamilyhomes,alldesignedintheNordicClassicismstyle,
suchasthemanorlikehouseforhismother'scousinTerhoMannerinTysain1923,asummervillafor
theJyvskylchiefconstablein1923andtheAlatalofarmhouseinTarvaalain1924.Duringthisperiod
healsocompletedhisfirstpublicbuildings,theJyvskylWorkers'Clubin1925,theJyvskylDefence
Corpsbuildingin1926andtheSeinjokiDefenceCorpbuildingin192429.Aaltoalsoenteredseveral
architecturalcompetitionsforprestigiousstatepublicbuildings,bothinFinlandandabroad,including
thetwocompetitionsfortheFinnishParliamentbuildingin1923and1924,theextensiontothe

UniversityofHelsinkiin1931,andthebuildingtohousetheLeagueofNationsinGeneva,Switzerland,
in192627.Furthermore,thiswastheperiodwhenAaltowasmostprolificinhiswritings,witharticles
forprofessionaljournalsandnewspapers.Amonghismostwellknownessaysfromthisperiodare
"Urbanculture"(1924),[19]"TemplebathsonJyvskylridge"(1925),[20]"AbbCoignard'ssermon"
(1925),[21]and"Fromdoorsteptolivingroom"(1926).[22]
Earlycareer:functionalism
TheshiftinAalto'sdesignapproachfromclassicismto
modernismisepitomisedbytheViipuriLibrary(192735),
whichwentthroughatransformationfromanoriginallyclassical
competitionentryproposaltothecompletedhighmodernist
building.Yethishumanisticapproachisinfullevidenceinthe
library:theinteriordisplaysnaturalmaterials,warmcolours,and
undulatinglines.Duetoproblemsoverfinancingandachangeof
site,theViipuriLibraryprojectlastedeightyears,andduringthat
sametimehealsodesignedtheTurunSanomatBuilding(1929
30)[nb2]andPaimioSanatorium(192932).Thus,theTurun
SanomatBuildingfirstheraldedAalto'smovetowards
modernism,andthiswasthencarriedforwardbothinthePaimio
Sanatoriumandintheongoingdesignforthelibrary.Although
theTurunSanomatBuildingandPaimioSanatoriumare
comparativelypuremodernistworks,theytoocarriedtheseeds
ofhisquestioningofsuchanorthodoxmodernistapproachanda
movetoamoredaring,syntheticattitude.Ithasbeensaidthathis
workontwoofthesethreebuildings(nottheViipuriLibrary)
showedsimilaritiestoWalterGropius'style,inparticularhis
workontheBauhausschoolofdesigninDessau.[9]Hisworkon
theViipuribuildingstartedtoshowhisindividualityina
departurefromtheEuropeannorms.
ThroughSvenMarkelius,Aaltobecameamemberofthe
CongresInternationauxd'ArchitectureModerne(CIAM),
attendingthesecondcongressinFrankfurtin1929andthefourth
congressinAthensin1933,whereheestablishedaclose
friendshipwithLszlMoholyNagy,SigfriedGiedionand
PhilipMortonShand.Itwasduringthistimethathefollowed
closelytheworkofthemaindrivingforcebehindthenew
modernism,LeCorbusier,andvisitedhiminhisParisoffice
severaltimesinthefollowingyears.

VillaMaireainNoormarkku

DetailofBakerHousefacadeonthe
CharlesRiver

AuditoriumoftheUniversityof
Technology,Helsinki,Finland
(194966)

ItwasnotuntilthecompletionofthePaimioSanatorium(1932)
andViipuriLibrary(1935)thatAaltofirstachievedworld
attentioninarchitecture.HisreputationgrewintheUSA
followingthecriticalreceptionofhisdesignfortheFinnish
Pavilionatthe1939NewYorkWorld'sFair,describedbyFrank
HouseofCulture,Helsinki
LloydWrightasa"workofgenius".[24]Itcouldbesaidthat
Aalto'sinternationalreputationwassealedwithhisinclusionin
thesecondeditionofSigfriedGiedion'sinfluentialbookonModernistarchitecture,Space,Timeand
Architecture:Thegrowthofanewtradition(1949),inwhichAaltoreceivedmoreattentionthanany

otherModernistarchitect,includingLeCorbusier.InhisanalysisofAalto,Giediongaveprimacyto
qualitiesthatdepartfromdirectfunctionality,suchasmood,atmosphere,intensityoflifeandeven
nationalcharacteristics,declaringthat"FinlandiswithAalto
whereverhegoes".
In1938,theMuseumofModernArt,inNewYorkorganizedan
exhibitthateventuallywentona12citytour.Afterwardshe
visitedAmericaforthefirsttimeandgaveaseriesoflecturesat
Yale.[8]
Midcareer:experimentation
Duringthe1930sAlvarspentsometimeexperimentingwith
laminatedwood,makingsculptures,andabstractreliefs,
characterizedbyirregularcurvedforms.Utilizingthisknowledge
hewasabletosolvetechnicalproblemsconcerningtheflexibility
ofwoodandalsoofworkingoutspatialissuesinhisdesigns.[1]
Aalto'searlyexperimentswithwoodandhismoveawayfroma
puristmodernismwouldbetestedinbuiltformwiththe
commissiontodesignVillaMairea(1939)inNoormarkku,the
luxuryhomeoftheyoungindustrialistcoupleHarryandMaire
Gullichsen.ItwasMaireGullichsenwhoactedasthemain
client,andsheworkedcloselynotonlywithAlvarbutalsoAino
Aaltoonthedesign,inspiringthemtobemoredaringintheir
work.Theoriginaldesignwastoincludeaprivateartgallery,but
thiswasneverbuilt.ThebuildingformsaUshapearounda
centralinner"garden"thecentralfeatureofwhichisakidney
shapedswimmingpool.Adjacenttothepoolisasaunaexecuted
inarusticstyle,alludingtobothFinnishandJapanese
precedents.Thedesignofthehouseisasynthesisofnumerous
stylisticinfluences,fromtraditionalFinnishvernaculartopurist
modernism,aswellasinfluencesfromEnglishandJapanese
architecture.Whilethehouseisclearlyintendedforawealthy
family,Aaltoneverthelessarguedthatitwasalsoanexperiment
thatwouldproveusefulinthedesignofmasshousing.[25]It
createdzonesfordifferentactivitieswithinthestructure.[12]

CulturalCenterWolfsburg(195862),
photo:Gnshirt2009. [23]

FinlandiaHall(196271)

TheAaltoTheateroperahousein

Hisincreasedfameledtooffersandcommissionsoutside
Essen,Germany
Finland.In1941heacceptedaninvitationasavisitingprofessor
toMassachusettsInstituteofTechnologyintheUSA.Thiswas
duringtheSecondWorldWar,andheinvolvedhisstudentsindesigninglowcost,smallscalehousing
forthereconstructionofwartornFinland.WhileteachingatMIT,Aaltoalsodesignedthestudent
dormitory,BakerHouse,completedin1948.ThedormitorylayalongtheCharlesRiverandits
undulatingformprovidedmaximumviewandventilationforeachresident.[12]Thisbuildingwasthe
firstbuildingofAalto'sredbrickperiod.OriginallyusedinBakerHousetosignifytheIvyLeague
universitytradition,onhisreturntoFinlandAaltouseditinanumberofkeybuildings,inparticular,in
severalofthebuildingsinthenewHelsinkiUniversityofTechnologycampus(startingin1950),
SyntsaloTownHall(1952),HelsinkiPensionsInstitute(1954),HelsinkiHouseofCulture(1958),as
wellasinhisownsummerhouse,thesocalledExperimentalHouseinMuuratsalo(1957).

Inthe50'sheimmersedhimselfinhissculpting,beitwithbronze,marble,ormixedmedia.Thispaid
offasheproducedanoutstandingpieceforthememorialoftheBattleofSuomussalmi(1960),located
onthebattlefield.Itconsistsofaleaningbronzepillaronapedestal.[1]
Maturecareer:monumentalism
Theearly1960sand1970s(upuntilhisdeathin1976)weremarkedbykeyworksinHelsinki,in
particularthehugetownplanforthevoidincentreofHelsinkiadjacenttoTlBayandthevast
railwayyards,andmarkedontheedgesbysignificantbuildingssuchastheNationalMuseumandthe
mainrailwaystation,bothbyElielSaarinen.InhistownplanAaltoproposedalineofseparatemarble
cladbuildingsfrontingthebaywhichwouldhousevariousculturalinstitutions,includingaconcerthall,
opera,museumofarchitectureandheadquartersfortheFinnishAcademy.Theschemealsoextended
intotheKamppidistrictwithaseriesoftallofficeblocks.Aaltofirstpresentedhisschemein1961,butit
wentthroughvariousmodificationsduringtheearly1960s.Onlytwofragmentsoftheoverallplanwere
everrealized:theFinlandiaHallconcerthall(1976)frontingTlBay,andanofficebuildinginthe
KamppidistrictfortheHelsinkiElectricityCompany(1975).TheMiesianformallanguageofgeometric
gridsemployedinthebuildingswasalsousedbyAaltoforothersitesinHelsinki,includingtheEnso
Gutzeitbuilding(1962),theAcademicBookstore(1962)andtheSYPBankbuilding(1969).
FollowingAalto'sdeathin1976hisofficecontinuedtooperateunderthedirectionofhiswidow,Elissa,
completingworksalreadytosomeextentdesigned.TheseworksincludetheJyvskylCityTheatreand
Essenoperahouse.SincethedeathofElissaAaltotheofficehascontinuedtooperateastheAlvarAalto
Academy,givingadviceontherestorationofAaltobuildingsandorganisingthevastarchivematerial.

Furniturecareer
WhereasAaltowasfamousforhisarchitecture,hisfurnituredesignswerewellthoughtofandarestill
populartoday.HestudiedJosefHoffmannandtheWienerWerksttte,andforaperiodoftime,worked
underElielSaarinen.[3]HealsogainedinspirationfromGebrderThonet.[3]Duringthelate1920sand
1930she,workingcloselywithAinoAalto,alsofocusedalotofhisenergyonfurnituredesign,partly
duetothedecisiontodesignmuchoftheindividualfurniturepiecesandlampsforthePaimio
Sanatorium.Ofparticularsignificancewastheexperimentationinbentplywoodchairs,mostnotablythe
socalledPaimiochair,whichhadbeendesignedforthesittingtuberculosispatient.TheAaltos,together
withvisualartspromoterMaireGullichsenandarthistorianNilsGustavHahlfoundedtheArtek
companyin1935,[12]ostensiblytosellAaltoproducts,butalsootherimportedproducts.[26]Hebecame
thefirstfurnituredesignertousethecantileverprincipleinchairdesignusingwood.[3]

Awards
Aalto'sawardsincludedthePrinceEugenMedalin1954,theRoyalGoldMedalforArchitecturefrom
theRoyalInstituteofBritishArchitectsin1957andtheGoldMedalfromtheAmericanInstituteof
Architectsin1963.HewaselectedaForeignHonoraryMemberoftheAmericanAcademyofArtsand
Sciencesin1957.[27]HealsowasamemberoftheAcademyofFinland,andwasitspresidentfrom1963
to1968.From1925to1956hewasamemberoftheCongrsInternationald'ArchitectureModerne.[9]In
1960hereceivedanhonorarydoctorateattheNorwegianUniversityofScienceandTechnology
(NTNU).[28]

Works

Aalto'scareerspansthechangesinstylefrom(NordicClassicism)topuristInternationalStyle
Modernismtoamorepersonal,syntheticandidiosyncraticModernism.Aalto'swidefieldofdesign
activityrangesfromthelargescaleofcityplanningandarchitecturetointeriordesign,furnitureand
glasswaredesignandpainting.IthasbeenestimatedthatduringhisentirecareerAaltodesignedover
500individualbuildings,approximately300ofwhichwerebuilt,thevastmajorityofwhicharein
Finland.HealsohasafewbuildingsinFrance,Germany,ItalyandtheUSA.[29]
Aalto'sworkwithwood,wasinfluencedbyearlyScandinavianarchitectshowever,hisexperimentsand
departurefromthenormbroughtattentiontohisabilitytomakewooddothingsnotpreviouslydone.
Histechniquesinthewayhecutthebeechtree,forexample,andalsohisabilitytouseplywoodas
structuralandaesthetic.Otherexamplesincludetheroughhewnverticalplacementoflogsathis
pavilionattheLapuaexpo,lookingsimilartoamedievalbarricade,attheorchestraplatformatturku
andtheParisexpoattheWorldFair,heusedvaryingsizesandshapesofplanks.AlsoatParisandat
VillaMaireaheutilizedbirchboardinginaverticalarrangement.Alsohisfamousundulatingwallsand
ceilingsmadeofredpine.[30]Inhisroofing,hecreatedmassivespans(155footatthecoveredstatiumat
Otaniemi)allwithouttierods.HisstairwayatVillaMairea,heevokesfeelingsofanaturalforestby
bindingbeechwoodwithwithesintocolumns.[31]
Aaltoclaimedthathispaintingswerenotmadeasindividualartworksbutaspartofhisprocessof
architecturaldesign,andmanyofhissmallscale"sculptural"experimentswithwoodledtolaterlarger
architecturaldetailsandforms.Theseexperimentsalsoledtoanumberofpatents:forexample,he
inventedanewformoflaminatedbentplywoodfurniturein1932.[nb3]Hisexperimentalmethodhad
beeninfluencedbyhismeetingswithvariousmembersoftheBauhausdesignschool,especiallyLszl
MoholyNagy,whomhefirstmetin1930.Aalto'sfurniturewasexhibitedinLondonin1935,togreat
criticalacclaim,andtocopewiththeconsumerdemandAalto,togetherwithhiswifeAino,Maire
GullichsenandNilsGustavHahlfoundedthecompanyArtekthatsameyear.Aaltoglassware(Ainoas
wellasAlvar)ismanufacturedbyIittala.AaltowasoneofthefirstarchitectsoutsideofGermany,
France,andtheNetherlandstomastermodernarchitecture.[12]
Aalto's'HighStool'and'StoolE60'(manufacturedbyArtek)arecurrentlyusedinAppleStoresacross
theworldtoserveasseatingforcustomers.Finishedinblacklacquer,thestoolsareusedtoseat
customersatthe'GeniusBar'andalsoinotherareasofthestoreattimeswhenseatingisrequiredfora
productworkshoporspecialevent.AaltowasalsoinfluentialinbringingmodernarttotheFinnish
people,inparticulartheworkofhisfriends,AlexanderMilneCalderandFernandLger.[1]

Significantbuildings

Foramorecomprehensivelist,seeListofAlvarAalto's
works.
19211923:BelltowerofKauhajrviChurch,Lapua,
Finland
19241928:Municipalhospital,Alajrvi,Finland
19261929:DefenceCorpsBuilding,Jyvskyl,Finland
19271935:Municipallibrary,Viipuri,Finland(now
KUNSTENMuseumofModernArt
Vyborg,Russia)[9][nb4]
Aalborg,Denmark(195872)
19281929,1930:TurunSanomatnewspaperoffices,
Turku,Finland[9]
19281932:PaimioSanatorium,Tuberculosissanatoriumandstaffhousing,Paimio,Finland[nb5]

1931:ToppilapapermillinOulu,Finland[9]
1931:CentralUniversityHospital,Zagreb,Croatia(former
Yugoslavia)
1932:VillaTammekann,Tartu,Estonia
1934:Corsotheatre,restaurantinterior,Zrich,
Switzerland
19361939:AhlstromSunilaPulpMill,Housing,and
TownPlan,Kotka[9]
19371939:VillaMairea,Noormarkku,Finland[9]
1939:FinnishPavilion,atthe1939NewYorkWorld'sFair
1945:SawmillatVarkaus[9]
19471948:BakerHouse,MassachusettsInstituteof
TableandchairsdesignedbyAlvar
Technology,Cambridge,Massachusetts,USA[9]
Aalto
19491966:HelsinkiUniversityofTechnology,Espoo,
Finland
19491952:SyntsaloTownHall,1949competition,built
1952,Syntsalo(nowpartofJyvskyl),Finland[9]
19501957:Kansanelkelaitos(NationalPension
Institution)officebuilding,Helsinki,Finland
19511971:UniversityofJyvskylvariousbuildingsand
facilitiesontheuniversitycampus,Jyvskyl,Finland
19521958:HouseofCulture,Helsinki,Finland[9]
1953:TheExperimentalHouse,Muuratsalo,Finland
19561958:HomeforLouisCarre,Bazoches,France[9]
19561958:ChurchoftheThreeCrosses,Vuoksenniska,
Teacart(teatrolley)
[9]
Imatra,Finland
19571967:Towncenter(Townlibrary,LakeudenRisti
Churchandcentraladministrativebuildings),Seinjoki,
Finland[9]
1958:Postandtelegraphoffice,Baghdad,Iraq[9]
19581972:KUNSTENMuseumofModernArtAalborg,
Aalborg,Denmark[9]
19591962:CommunityCenter,Wolfsburg,Germany[9]
19591962:EnsoGutzeitHeadquarters,Helsinki,Finland
1962:AaltoHochhaus,Bremen,Germany
19641965:InstituteofInternationalEducation,NewYork
City[9]
1965:RegionalLibraryofLapland,Rovaniemi,Finland
Armchair400withreindeerfur
19621971:FinlandiaHall,Helsinki,Finland[9]
19631965:BuildingforVstmanlandDalanation,
Uppsala,Sweden
19671970:LibraryattheMountAngelAbbey,St.Benedict,Salem,Oregon,USA[9]
19651968:NordicHouse,Reykjavk,Iceland
1973:AlvarAaltoMuseum,a.k.a.Taidemuseo,Jyvskyl,Finland[9]
19591988:Essenoperahouse,Essen,Germany

Furnitureandglassware
Chairs
1932:PaimioChair

1933:ThreeleggedstackingStool60
1933:FourleggedStoolE60
19356:Armchair404(a/k/a/ZebraTankChair)
1939:Armchair406
Lamps
1954:FloorlampA805
1959:FloorlampA810
Vases
1936:AaltoVase

Quotes
"Godcreatedpaperforthepurposeofdrawingarchitectureonit.Everythingelseisatleastforme
anabuseofpaper."AlvarAalto,Sketches,1978,104.
"Weshouldworkforsimple,good,undecoratedthings"andhecontinues,"butthingswhicharein
harmonywiththehumanbeingandorganicallysuitedtothelittlemaninthestreet."AlvarAalto,
speechinLondon1957.

CritiqueofAalto'sarchitecture
Asalreadymentioned,Aalto'sinternationalreputationwassealedwithhisinclusioninthesecond
editionofSigfriedGiedion'sinfluentialbookonModernistarchitecture,Space,TimeandArchitecture:
Thegrowthofanewtradition(1949),inwhichAaltoreceivedmoreattentionthananyotherModernist
architect,includingLeCorbusier.InhisanalysisofAalto,Giediongaveprimacytoqualitiesthatdepart
fromdirectfunctionality,suchasmood,atmosphere,intensityoflifeandevennationalcharacteristics,
declaringthat"FinlandiswithAaltowhereverhegoes".However,afewmorerecentarchitecturecritics
andhistorianshavequestionedAalto'spositionofinfluenceinthecanonichistory.ItalianMarxist
architecturehistoriansManfredoTafuriandFrancescoDalCoputforwardtheviewpointthatAalto's
"historicalsignificancehasperhapsbeenratherexaggeratedwithAaltoweareoutsideofthegreat
themesthathavemadethecourseofcontemporaryarchitecturesodramatic.Thequalitiesofhisworks
haveameaningonlyasmasterfuldistractions,notsubjecttoreproductionoutsidetheremoterealityin
whichtheyhavetheirroots."[32]Theirviewpointwaspropoundedbytheirownprioritygivento
urbanism,seeingAaltoasanantiurban,andthusconsequentlydisparagingwhattheyregardedas
peripheralnonurbanareasoftheworld:"Essentiallyhisarchitectureisnotappropriatetourban
typologies."SimilarlyconcernedwiththeappropriatenessofAalto'sformlanguage,attheotherendof
thepoliticalspectrum,AmericanpostmodernistcriticCharlesJencksmadeaclaimfortheneedfor
buildingstosignifymeaninghowever,hethenliftedoutAalto'sPensionsInstitutebuildingasan
exampleofwhathetermedAalto's'softpaternalism':"Conceivedasafragmentedmasstobreakupthe
feelingofbureaucracy,itsucceedsalltoowellinbeinghumaneandkillingthepensionerwithkindness.
Theformsarefamiliarredbrickandribbonstripwindowsbrokenbycopperandbronzeelementsall
carriedthroughwithaliteralmindednessthatbordersonthesoporific."[33]ButalsoduringAalto's
lifetimehefacedcritiquefromhisfellowarchitectsinFinland,mostnotablyKirmoMikkolaandJuhani
PallasmaabythelastdecadeofhislifeAalto'sworkwasseenasidiosyncraticandindividualistic,when
theopposingtendenciesofrationalismandconstructivismoftenchampionedunderleftwingpolitics
arguedforanonymousvirtuallynonaestheticarchitecture.MikkolawroteofAalto'slateworks:"Aalto
hasmovedtohispresentbaroqueline..."[34]

Memorials
Aaltohasbeencommemoratedinanumberofways:
AlvarAaltoistheeponymoftheAlvarAaltoMedal,nowconsideredoneofworldarchitecture's
mostprestigiousawards.
Aaltowasfeaturedinthe50mknoteinthelastseriesoftheFinnishmarkka(beforeits
replacementbytheEuroin2002).
ThecentenaryofAalto'sbirthin1998wasmarkedinFinlandnotonlybyseveralbooksand
exhibitions,butalsobythepromotionofspeciallybottledredandwhiteAaltoWineanda
speciallydesignedcupcake.
In1976,theyearofhisdeath,AaltowascommemoratedonaFinnishpostagestamp.
AaltoUniversity,aFinnishuniversityformedbymergingHelsinkiUniversityofTechnology,
HelsinkiSchoolofEconomicsandTaiKin2010,isnamedafterAlvarAalto.
AnAlvarAallonkatu(AlvarAaltoStreet)canbefoundinfivedifferentFinnishcities:Helsinki,
Jyvskyl,Oulu,KotkaandSeinjoki.

Seealso
ArchitectureofFinland
AinoAalto
ElissaAalto

Notes
Somesourcesstatethattheyweremarriedin1925.[9]
TheTurunSanomatbuildingheraldedAalto'sentranceontotheinternationalfieldasanarchitect.[12]
Thepatentisdated1933.[1]
SomesourcesinaccuratelystatethatthiswasdestroyedduringtheSecondWorldWar[9][12]howeveritwas
onlydamaged.Thisdamagewhereasitwasextensive,hasbeenrepairedovertime.
5. Somesourcesstatethecompletiondatetobe1933.[9]
1.
2.
3.
4.

References
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.

Chilvers2004,p.1
Anon2013
Boyce1985,p.1
AlvarAaltoMuseum2011
HeiligGeistKirchengemeindebeikirchewolfsburg.de(http://www.kirche
wolfsburg.de/gemeinde/gemeindedetails.php?ID=21),retrievedJan.25,2015
Thorne1984,p.1
Pelkonen2009,p.12
Lab1968,p.1
Hoiberg2010,pp.23
Heporauta1999,p.10
Weston1997,p.20
Brown1969,p.4
SuominenKokkonen2007,p.18
Heporauta1999,p.24
Heporauta1999,p.33
Paavilainen1982,p.23
Aalto1998,p.29

18.
19.
20.
21.
22.
23.
24.
25.
26.
27.
28.
29.
30.
31.
32.
33.
34.

Paavilainen1982,pp.1115
Aalto1998,pp.1920
Aalto1998,pp.1719
Aalto1998,pp.5657
Aalto1998,pp.4955
DasAlvarAaltoKulturhausaufderWebsitedesAlvarAaltoZentrumsDeutschlande.V.Wolfsburg
(http://aaltowolfsburg.com/content.php?id=kulturhaus),retrievedJan.25,2015
McCarter2006,p.143
Pallasmaa1998,p.31
Pallasmaa1998,p.19
Tourney2013
Anon2014
Schildt1994,pp.310313
Lab1968,p.2
Lab1968,p.3
Tafuri&Co1976,p.338
Jencks1973,pp.8081
Mikkola1969,p.31

Sources
Aalto,Alvar(1998).Schildt,Goran,ed.AlvarAaltoinHisOwnWords.Helsinki,Finland:Rizzoli.
ISBN9780847820801.
AlvarAaltoMuseum(2011)."AlvarAaltoMuseo"[AlvarAaltoMuseum](http://www.alvaraalto.fi/).
www.alvaraalto.fi.
Anon(2014)."HonoraryDoctors"(http://www.ntnu.no/forskning/aeresdoktorer).NTNU(inNorwegian).
Archived(http://www.webcitation.org/6SUHYDbx3)fromtheoriginalon10September2014.Retrieved
10September2014.
Anon(2014a)."Coolhausmenu"(http://eatcoolhaus.com/menu).CoolhausGourmetDesert.Archived
(http://www.webcitation.org/6ThXsnVLi)fromtheoriginalon29October2014.Retrieved29October2014.
Anon(2013).Architecture.sk"AlvarAalto:architectbiography"(http://architect.architecture.sk/alvaraalto
architect/alvaraaltoarchitect.php).architect.architecture.sk.
Boyce,Charles(1985)."Aalto,HugoAlvarHenrik(18991976)".DictionaryofFurniture.NewYork,NY:
HenryHoltandCo.ISBN0805007520.
Brown,TheodoreM.(1969)."Alto,HugoAlvarHenrik".InMyers,BernardS.McGrawHillDictionaryof
Art.I:AACeylon.NewYork,NY:McGrawHillBookCompany.LCCN68026314
(http://lccn.loc.gov/68026314).
Chilvers,Ian,ed.(2004)[1988]."Aalto,Alvar".TheOxfordDictionaryofArt(3rded.).Oxford,UK:Oxford
UniversityPress.ISBN0198604769.
Heporauta,Arne(1999).AlvarAalto:Arkkitehti/Architect18981976(inFinnish)(1sted.).Helsinki,
Finland:Rakennustieto.ISBN951682546X.
Hoiberg,DaleH.,ed.(2010)."Aalto,(Hugo)Alvar(Henrik)".EncyclopdiaBritannica.I:AAkBayes
(15thed.).Chicago,IL:EncyclopdiaBritannica,Inc.ISBN9781593398378.
Jencks,Charles(1973).ModernMovementsinArchitecture.GardenCity,NY:AnchorPress.ISBN978
0385025546.
Lab,Mario(1968)[1959]."Aalto,HugoAlvarHenrik".InCrandall,RobertW.EncyclopediaofWorldArt.
I:AaltoAsiaMinor,Western.NewYork,NY:McGrawHillBookCompany,Inc.LCCN59013433
(http://lccn.loc.gov/59013433).

McCarter,Robert(2006).FrankLloydWright.London:ReaktionBooks.ISBN9781861892683.
Mikkola,Kirmo(1969)."Suomalaisenarkkitehtuurinajankohtaistapyrkimyksi".Arkkitehti(inFinnish)66:
3037.
Paavilainen,Simo(1982).Paavilainen,Simo,ed.NordiskKlassicism19101930[NordicClassicism].
Helsinki:MuseumofFinnishArchitecture.ISBN9519229213.
Pallasmaa,Juhani(1998).AlvarAalto:VillaMairea193839(2nded.).RamPubns&Dist.ISBN978
9525371314.
Pelkonen,EevaLiisa(2009).AlvarAalto:Architecture,Modernity,andGeopolitics.NewHaven,CT:Yale
UniversityPress.ISBN9780300114287.
Schildt,Gran(1994).AlvarAalto,Alife'swork:Architecture,DesignandArt.Helsinki,Finland:Otava
Pub.Co.ISBN9789511129752.
SuominenKokkonen,Renja(2007).AinoandAlvarAaltoASharedJourneyInterpretationsofan
everydaymodernism.Helsinki:AlvarAaltoFoundation.ISBN9789525371321.
Tafuri,ManfredoCo,FrancescoDal(1976).Architetturacontemporanea[ModernArchitecture](inItalian).
Milan:Electa.
Thorne,John,ed.(1984)."Aalto,Alvar".ChambersBiographicalDictionary(Reviseded.).Chambers.
ISBN0550180222.
Weston,Richard(1997)[1995].AlvarAalto.London,UK:PhaidonPressLimited.ISBN9780714837109.
Tourney,Michele(2013)."BookofMembers,17802010:ChapterA"
(http://www.amacad.org/publications/BookofMembers/ChapterA.pdf)(PDF).AmericanAcademyofArtsand
Sciences.Retrieved13November2013.
www.infoa.fi(2013)."AlvarAalto"(http://www.infoa.fi/lansisuomi/showinfo.php?county=29).

Furtherreading
GranSchildthaswrittenandeditedmanybooksonAalto,themostwellknownbeingthethreevolume
biography,usuallyreferredtoasthedefinitivebiographyonAalto.
Schildt,Gran(1984).AlvarAalto.TheEarlyYears.NewYork,NY:Rizzoli.ISBN978
0847805310.
Schildt,Gran(1987).AlvarAalto.TheDecisiveYears.NewYork,NY:Rizzoli.ISBN978
0847807116.
Schildt,Gran(1991).AlvarAalto.TheMatureYears.NewYork,NY:Rizzoli.ISBN978
0847813292.
AlvarAaltoArchiveStaff(1994).TheArchitecturalDrawingsofAlvarAalto19171939:Aalto's
OwnHomeinHelsinki,theFinnishPavilionatthe1937World'sFairinParis,andOther
BuildingsandProjects,19321937.GarlandArchitecturalArchives.Routledge.
Schildt,Gran(1994).AlvarAalto:TheCompleteCatalogueofArchitecture,DesignandArt.
NewYork,NY:Rizzoli.ISBN9780847818181.
Otherbooks
Laaksonen,Esa(2013).AlvarAaltoArchitect.5:PaimioSanatorium192832.Rakennustieto
Publishing.ISBN9789516829541.
Holma,MaijaPallasmaa,JuhaniSuominenKokkonen,Renja(2003).AlvarAaltoArchitect.6:

TheAaltoHouse193536.AlvarAaltoFoundation.ISBN9789525498011.
Kaorvanmaa,Pekka(2007).AlvarAaltoArchitect.7:Sunila19361954.RamDistribution.
ISBN9789525498035.
AlvarAaltoArchitect.9:VillaMairea.
Aalto,Alvar(2008).AlvarAaltoArchitect.13:UniversityofTechnology,Otaniemi194974.
RamDistribution.ISBN9789525498080.
Hipeli,Mia(2009).AlvarAaltoArchitect.16:JyvskylUniversity195171.
ASINB002QH2LMK(https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002QH2LMK).
Aalto,Alvar(2008).AlvarAaltoArchitect.20:MaisonLouisCarre195663.RamDistribution.
ISBN9789525498066.
Heporauta,Arne(1998).AlvarAaltoArkkitehti:18981976(inFinnish).Helsinki,Finland:
RakennustietoOy.ISBN9789516825468.
Fleig,Karl(1975).AlvarAalto.PraegerPublishers.ISBN9780275496609.
Porphyrios,Demetri(1982).SourcesofModernEclecticism.St.Martin'sPress.ISBN978
0312746735.
Pallasmaa,Juhani(1985).Aalto:AlvarAaltoFurniture.MITPress.ISBN9780262132060.
Korvenmaa,PekkaTreib,Marc(2002).Reed,Peter,ed.AlvarAalto:BetweenHumanismand
Materialism.NewYork,NY:TheMuseumofModernArt.ISBN9780870701078.
Quantrill,Malcolm(1983).AlvarAalto:ACriticalStudy.Secker&Warburg.ISBN0941533352.
Ruusuvuori,Aarno,ed.(1978).AlvarAalto18981976.Helsinki,Finland:TheMuseumof
FinnishArchitecture.ASINB0000ED4GS(https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0000ED4GS).
Jormakka,KariGargus,JacquelineGraf,DouglasTheUseandAbuseofPaper.EssaysonAlvar
Aalto.Datutop20:Tampere1999.
Connah,Roger(2008).Aaltomania.RakennustietoPublishing.ISBN9789516826137.
KarlFleigAlvarAaltoObrasyproyectos.WorksandProjectPublisher:GustavoGili1993
(http://piaar.com.ua/information/item/368alvaraaltokfleigalvaraalto1994.html)
Aaltoresearch
TheextensivearchivesofAlvarAaltoarenowadayskeptattheAlvarAaltoMuseum
(http://www.alvaraalto.fi/museum/),Jyvskyl,Finland.Materialisalsoavailablefromtheformer
officesofAalto,atTiilimki20,Helsinki,nowadaystheheadquartersoftheAlvarAalto
Foundation.(http://www.alvaraalto.fi/)
Since1995theAlvarAaltoMuseumandAaltoAcademyhaspublishedajournal,Ptah
(http://www.alvaraalto.fi/ptah/),whichisdevotednotonlytoAaltoscholarshipbutalsoto
architecturegenerallyaswellastheory,designandart.

Externallinks
Archives

WikimediaCommonshas

AlvarAaltoFoundation(http://www.alvaraalto.fi/)
CustodianofAalto'sarchitecturaldrawingsandwritings.
Resources

mediarelatedtoAlvar
Aalto.
Wikiquotehasquotations
relatedto:AlvarAalto

AlvarAalto(http://www.moma.org/collection/artist.php?
artist_id=34)attheMuseumofModernArt
AlvarAaltobiography(http://www.finnishdesign.com/finnishdesigners/alvaraalto)at
FinnishDesign.com
ShortBiographies:AlvarAalto(http://www.shortbiographies.com/biographies/AlvarAalto.html)
Aaltobibliography(http://www.alvaraalto.fi/alvar/biblio.htm)Fromtheofficialsite
AlvarAaltoDesignDictionary(http://www.designdictionary.co.uk/en/aalto.htm)Illustrated
articleaboutAlvarAalto
AlvarAalto(http://www.iespana.es/legislaciones/Alvar_Aalto.htm)BiographyinSpanishabout
AlvarAalto
ModernFurnitureandthehistoryofMouldedPlywood
(http://www.modernfurnitureclassics.com/index.php/main_page/editorial/title/Title%2015)Role
playedbyAlvarAltointheuseofMouldedplywoodforfurniture.
AlvarAaltoinGerman(http://www.hlsdhsdss.ch/textes/d/D8115.php),French(http://www.hls
dhsdss.ch/textes/f/F8115.php)andItalian(http://www.hlsdhsdss.ch/textes/i/I8115.php)inthe
onlineHistoricalDictionaryofSwitzerland.
AlvarAalto(http://www.findagrave.com/cgibin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=6390160)atFinda
Grave
MapoftheAlvarAaltoworksWikiartmap,theartmapofthepublicspace
(http://en.wikiartmap.com/view/32050///alvar_aalto.html)
"AlvarAaltoandSolarGeometry"(http://solarhousehistory.com/blog/2014/4/30/alvaraaltoand
solargeometry).solarhousehistory.com.
Catalogs
Artek.fi(http://www.artek.fi),AaltofurniturecompanyfoundedbyAalto.
AlvarAaltoglassware(http://www.iittala.com/web/iittalacom.nsf/vwsearchview_en?
SearchView&LANG=en&SearchOrder=4&Query=(aalto)),iittala.com
BetweenHumanismandMaterialism(http://www.moma.org/exhibitions/1998/aalto/)NewYork
MuseumofModernArtexhibitsite.Containsanespeciallyusefultimelineofhislifeandcareer.
Buildingsandreviews
Checkonsite.com(http://www.checkonsite.com/browse/architect/featuredarchitects/alvaraalto/)
AlvarAaltoarchitectureguide.
"Aheadofthecurve"(http://arts.guardian.co.uk/art/architecture/story/0,,2035974,00.html)The
GuardianFionaMacCarthyrecallsasharedlunchofsmokedreindeerandschnappsinhis
elegantHelsinkirestaurant
BakerHouse(http://www.bluffton.edu/~sullivanm/aalto/aalto.html)
NorthJutlandMuseum(http://www.nordjyllandskunstmuseum.dk/Default.aspx?ID=656)
S.MariaAssuntaRiolaBOItaly(http://puredesign.it/mygallery/list.php?
exhibition=10&lang=eng)
Shops
AlvarAaltoCollection(http://www.tomorrowsantique.com/en/AlvarAalto/)Tomorrow'sAntique
AlvarAaltofurniturecollection.
Coliseumshop.comAlvarAaltoFurnitureSelection.(http://www.coliseum
shop.com/en/catalog/designers/39Alvar%20Aalto.html)

Aalto.comAlvarAaltoCollection(http://www.aalto.com/)ShopdedicatedtoAlvarAalto
designs.
Retrievedfrom"https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Alvar_Aalto&oldid=676232850"
Categories: 1898births 1976deaths PeoplefromKuortane
PeoplefromVaasaProvince(GrandDuchyofFinland) 20thcenturyFinnisharchitects
Finnishfurnituredesigners Finnishindustrialdesigners Modernistarchitects
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ModernistarchitectureinFinland AlvarAaltobuildings RecipientsoftheRoyalGoldMedal
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