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Aalto and History

In his works from the mid-1930s onwards Alvar Aalto blended regionalist themes with models provided by international modernism. Also, he adapted motifs and themes from architectural history, first in his early works of the 1920s and later again in his mature works from the 1950s. In this paper I will discuss the meaning Aalto gave to these and trace the use of some of the motifs derived from his education as well as other sources of inspiration. The question of what is, of course, less interesting than the questions of why and how. In discussing such questions I attempt to search for Aalto’s view of history as expressed in his own writings.

Aino Niskanen