Alvar Hugo Henrik Aalto

Aalto, Alvar Hugo Henrik


Born Feb. 3, 1898, in Kuortane. Finnish architect.

Working in Finland, Sweden, the USA, and other countries, Aalto has designed numerous public buildings, including the city library in Vyborg (1927–35), the sanatorium in Paimio (1929–33), and the Workers’ Palace of Culture in Helsinki (1955–58). He built industrial buildings in Toppila (1930–31), Sunila (1936–39), and Oulu (1951–57); apartment dwellings in Bremen (1958–63); and villas, churches, and pavilions. Also involved in town planning, he redesigned Rovaniemi (1946–48) and Sáynátsalo (1949–52). Aalto’s work evolved from the earlier strict geometric forms to a distinctive combination of folk traditions, principles of functionalism, and organic architecture. As a result, his architecture is marked by a freedom and flexibility of volumetric and spatial composition, skillfully integrated with the natural setting. An abundant use of wood characterizes his architecture.


Alvar Aalto. Zürich, 1962.