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“Nothing that is old can be reborn. But nor will it disappear entirely. And that which once was, always returns in some new form.” 

Alvar Aalto 1921

Alvar Aalto (1898–1976) and his architect wives Aino Aalto (1894–1949) and Elissa Aalto (1922–1994) all aspired to achieve integrated designs, in which the architecture and interior of a building – the lighting, furnishings, textiles, and outdoor spaces – are almost seamlessly articulated into a unified whole. Everyone at Aalto’s architect’s office worked towards a common goal – sustainable architecture and design marked by a human-centred approach and a connection with nature.

The Alvar Aalto 125 anniversary year embodies the spirit of Aalto and lets us look through the multi-coloured kaleidoscope of the architect’s production and heritage. The program is currently available in Finnish.



Aalto’s architecture and design continue to fascinate new generations of architects and designers all over the world.


Alvar Aalto (1898–1976) was a Finnish architect known for his distinctive architecture and design, and one of the best-known architects of the modern movement.

Alvar Aalto in 1940s. Photo: Eino Mäkinen, Alvar Aalto Foundation.


Aino Aalto

Aino Aalto (née Marsio, 1894–1949) was an architect who had an interest in the Italian heritage, and in resolving the challenges of home design. She married Alvar Aalto in 1924 and they were a duo and equal partners in the office.

Aino and Alvar Aalto in lake Vierwaldstättersee  in Switzerland (late 1920s). Photo: Alvar Aalto Foundation.



Elissa Aalto (née Elsa Mäkiniemi, 1922–1994) was an architect who came to work in Alvar Aalto’s
creative architect’s office soon after graduating in 1949. Then, in 1952, she married the widowed Alvar
and became a senior partner in the office. To preserve Alvar Aalto’s heritage Elissa Aalto transferred the Aalto office’s archives to the Alvar Aalto Foundation.

Alvar ja Elissa Aalto Maison Louis Carréssa

Alvar and Elissa Aalto in the Maison Louis Carré living room during the final construction works of the house 1959. Photo: Alvar Aalto Foundation.



The Alvar Aalto Foundation maintains the material and intellectual legacy of the world-famous architects and designers Alvar, Aino and Elissa Aalto, and acts to make their work and thinking more widely known.

This year marks the 125th anniversary of the birth of Alvar Aalto (1898−1976). The architects and pioneers of modern design Alvar, Aino and Elissa Aalto created exceptionally rich and varied career for themselves in Finland and abroadDuring the yearthe Alvar Aalto Foundation – along with its partners in collaboration – will be putting the spotlight on the story of Alvar Aalto’s architect’s office (1923−1994) and on the ideas that influenced its workideas that are still relevant today.

The new Aalto2 Museum Centre is now open!

Aalto2 Museum Centre. Photo Maija Holma © Alvar Aalto Foundation.Aalto2 Museum Centre. Photo: Maija Holma © Alvar Aalto Foundation

Read more about Aalto2!