Alvar Aalto

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Alvar Aalto
Hugo Alvar Henrik Aalto
BirthplaceKuortane, Finland

Aalto, Alvar

(ŏl`vär äl`tō), 1898–1976, Finnish architect and furniture designer. Aalto is considered one of the foremost architects of the 20th cent. Most of his designs were made in collaboration with his first wife, Aino Maria Marsio, 1894–1949, the celebrated furniture designer and architect. Aalto's work adapted Finnish building traditions to modern European techniques and to the specific function of the structure in boldly expressive style. His designs for the municipal library at Viipuri (1927–35; now in Vyborg, Russia) and the tuberculosis sanitarium at Paimio (1929–33) were outstanding functionalist works. He gained international fame for his remarkable designs for sleek molded and laminated birch wood furniture and for his plans for the Finnish pavilions at the expositions in Paris (1937) and New York (1939). Signature furniture pieces widely used in both institutional and residential settings include his three-legged stool, a classic of modern design, and the curvingly sculptural yet comfortable Paimio reclining bentwood armchair originally designed for the sanitarium. Also well known among his designs are fabrics and curvilinear glass vases. In 1940 he was appointed visiting professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he designed the serpentine Baker House (1947–48). After World War II he was active in reconstruction in Finland. His major postwar works include a number of striking civic buildings in Helsinki, the Maison Carré in Paris (designed in collaboration with Elissa Makkinheimo, his second wife), and the Wolfsburg cultural center in Germany.


See his complete works, ed. by K. Fleig (tr. of 3d ed., 2 vol., 1970–71); studies by F. A. Gutheim (1960) and P. D. Pearson (1978).

Aalto, Alvar

Finnish architect who designed the Viipuri Public Library with an undulating timber roof, built in 1929. His Paimio Sanitorium, Paimio, Finland, was one of the first hospitals to be built in the International style. Later work includes the Baker House, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA (1948), and the Public Library, Rovaniemi, Finland (1963), and Finlandia Hall (illus.) Helsinki, Finland (1971).
References in periodicals archive ?
While representing Aaltonen's connection to water, they especially echo the Finnish designs of Alvar Aalto glass.
The Finnish architect and designer Alvar Aalto (1898-1976) was much admired in America but had something of a love-hate relationship with the country.
debut, presents built and unbuilt work by 11 architects, including Alvar Aalto, Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Venturi, Rauch and Scott Brown.
The hotel will be furnished with the high-quality design furniture by top designers from both Finland and abroad, among them Alvar Aalto.
This catalog of an exhibition of photographs and drawings of the work of famed Finnish architect Alvar Aalto originally on display in Ancona and Rome, Italy in 2003, showcases the artist's deep influence on modernism and the international style.
When illustrating his lecture with buildings, he referred to those of his fellow countryman Alvar Aalto.
Let's not forget Mary Boone's arrest in 1999 for mounting a Tom Sachs exhibition that featured working guns and an Alvar Aalto vase of live ammo.
Key modernist figures who are featured include artists Piet Mon-drian and Fernand Leger, architects Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius, furniture designers Marcel Breuer and Alvar Aalto, fashion designer Sonia Delaunay and photographer Man Ray.
Work from the current generation of Finnish designers -- including Sari Anttonen, Maria Jauhiainen and Harri Koskinen -- will be available alongside products from such classic designers as Alvar Aalto, Kaj Franck and Maija Isola.
Frederick Key Smith discusses literature, while Sarah Menin looks to the architectural style of Finnish modernist Alvar Aalto as a parallel to Sibelius's musical constructions in "Aalto, Sibelius and Fragments from Forest Culture.
It has always been one of the most iconic modern building materials of the mid-20th century--think of the walls and cabinetry in an Eichler tract home or the furniture designed by Alvar Aalto or Charles and Ray Eames.
So what if the nine distinctive concrete domes were an example of world style spoken of in the same breath as Le Corbusier and Alvar Aalto.