Calendar

26. 10.

Monday

27. 10.

Tuesday

28. 10.

Wednesday

29. 10.

Thursday

30. 10.

Friday

31. 10.

Saturday

1. 11.

Sunday

2. 11.

Monday

3. 11.

Tuesday

4. 11.

Wednesday

5. 11.

Thursday

6. 11.

Friday

7. 11.

Saturday

8. 11.

Sunday

9. 11.

Monday

10. 11.

Tuesday

11. 11.

Wednesday

12. 11.

Thursday

13. 11.

Friday

14. 11.

Saturday

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Sunday

16. 11.

Monday

17. 11.

Tuesday

18. 11.

Wednesday

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20. 11.

Friday

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Saturday

22. 11.

Sunday

23. 11.

Monday

24. 11.

Tuesday

25. 11.

Wednesday

26. 11.

Thursday

27. 11.

Friday

28. 11.

Saturday

29. 11.

Sunday

30. 11.

Monday

1. 12.

Tuesday

2. 12.

Wednesday

3. 12.

Thursday

4. 12.

Friday

5. 12.

Saturday

6. 12.

Sunday

7. 12.

Monday

8. 12.

Tuesday

9. 12.

Wednesday

10. 12.

Thursday

11. 12.

Friday

12. 12.

Saturday

13. 12.

Sunday

14. 12.

Monday

15. 12.

Tuesday

16. 12.

Wednesday

17. 12.

Thursday

18. 12.

Friday

19. 12.

Saturday

20. 12.

Sunday

21. 12.

Monday

22. 12.

Tuesday

23. 12.

Wednesday

24. 12.

Thursday

25. 12.

Friday

26. 12.

Saturday

27. 12.

Sunday

28. 12.

Monday

29. 12.

Tuesday

30. 12.

Wednesday

31. 12.

Thursday

1. 1.

Friday

2. 1.

Saturday

3. 1.

Sunday

4. 1.

Monday

5. 1.

Tuesday

6. 1.

Wednesday

7. 1.

Thursday

8. 1.

Friday

9. 1.

Saturday

10. 1.

Sunday

Pioneer of Modern Architecture and Design

Alvar Aalto (1898-1976) enjoyed an exceptionally rich and varied career as an architect and designer, both at home in Finland and abroad.

After qualifying as an architect from Helsinki Institute of Technology (later Helsinki University of Technology and now part of the Aalto University) in 1921, Aalto set up his first architectural practice in Jyväskylä. His early works followed the tenets of Nordic Classicism, the predominant style at that time. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, he made a number of journeys to Europe on which he and his wife Aino Marsio, also an architect, became familiar with the latest trends in Modernism, the International Style.

The pure Functionalist phase in Aalto’s work lasted for several years. It enabled him to make an international breakthrough, largely because of Paimio Sanatorium (1929-1933), an important Functionalist milestone. Aalto had adopted the principals of user-friendly, functional design in his architecture. From the late 1930s onwards, the architectural expression of Aalto’s buildings became enriched by the use of organic forms, natural materials and increasing freedom in the handling of space.

It was characteristic of Aalto to treat each building as a complete work of art – right down to the furniture and light fittings. In 1935, Artek was formed to promote the growing production and sales of Aalto furniture. The design of his furniture combined practicality and aesthetics with series production, following the main Artek idea of encouraging a more beautiful everyday life in the home. As far as design was concerned, Aalto was driven by an interest in glass since it provided an opportunity to handle the material in a new kind of way using free forms. His win in the Karhula-Iittala glassware design competition in 1936 led to the birth of the world-famous Savoy vase.

From the 1950s onwards, Aalto’s architectural practice was employed principally on the design of public buildings, such as Säynätsalo Town Hall (1948-1952), the Jyväskylä Institute of Pedagogics, now the University of Jyväskylä (1951-1957), and the House of Culture in Helsinki (1952-1956). His urban design master plans represent larger projects than the buildings mentioned above, the most notable schemes that were built being Seinäjoki city centre (1956-1965/87), Rovaniemi city centre (1963-1976/88) and the partly built Jyväskylä administrative and cultural centre (1970-1982).

From the early 1950s onwards, Alvar Aalto’s work focussed more and more on countries outside Finland, so that a number of buildings both private and public were built to his designs abroad.

 

Alvar Aalto and the boat “Nemo Propheta in Patria” in the shore of Muuratsalo Experimental House. Photo: Alvar Aalto Museum.

Alvar Aalto. Photo: Alvar Aalto Museum.