Alvar Aalto


From 1927 to 1935 Alvar Aalto worked on two buildings which were to become the masterpieces of his juvenile period and contribute to his fame on an international level: the Municipal Library of Viipuri and the Paimio Sanatorium. In these constructions of rationalistic imprint, Aalto succeeded in introducing the defining character of organic architecture as exemplified in the use of form and material which eventually led to a new understanding of architecture. Based on the experience with the furniture designed for these two buildings, Aalto together with both his wife Aino and Maire Gullichsen, founded the Artek trademark in 1935 that specialized in the production of warped wood furniture achieved through new techniques developed by Aalto. From this point on, his biography is rich with events and success, ranging from the design of a simple sauna stool in birch to urbanistic projects such as the Säynätsalo Island and the reconstruction plans for Rovaniemi. He was also responsible for numerous projects abroad, including the M.I.T. dormitory in Cambridge, MA (USA) and the Riola Church near Bologna, Italy. Outside his homeland, however, the organic approach to architecture was intended as a pure relationship between man-made projects and nature. Alvar Aalto died in 1976 at the age of 78.

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