Alvar Hugo Henrik Aalto bigraphy, stories - A Finnish architect and designer

Alvar Hugo Henrik Aalto : biography

In 1916 Alvar Aalto entered Polytechnic Institute of Helsingfors where he was taught by Armas Lindgren. In 1918 his study was broke off by the Finnish Civil War. Aalto took part in this war as a soldier of the Finnish army. In 1921 he finished studying in the institute and got a diploma of an architect.

Alvar was influenced by Gunnar Asplund’ neoclassicism and aesthetics of European architectural avant-garde which were the basis of his own individual manner. He preferred natural materials while searching new constructional forms (he made experiments with bent wood: furniture, objectless compositions). In 1933 he moved to Helsinki where he opened his own company “Artek” and started to produce objects of interior which became examples for modern style and Finnish design. Owing to support of timber-processing concerns he demonstrated resource of wooden in projects for World Fair in Paris (1937) and New York (1939), he flexibly combined traditions of national art of building with novelty of avant-garde methods, freedom of spatial compositions with the beauty of north views (a villa).

Before the war Aalto built a sanatorium in Paimio (1929-1933) and a municipal library in Vyborg (1930-1935), the villa “Mairea” in Noormarkku (1939). In 1940-1948 Aalto worked and taught in USA where he conducted several projects, for example the dormitory of MIT in Boston. In 1949 Aalto’s wife and constant partner in the project work Aino Marsio-Aalto died. When Alvar returned in Finland he cooperated with Elissa Makiniemi, they married in 1952.

Aalto conducted several projects of big public buildings: the municipal centre in Saynatsalo (1950-1952), National Pension Institution (1952-1956), House of Culture (1955-1958) and Finlandia Hall (1967-1971, all in Helsinki); Nordic House in Reykjavik (1965-1968). He was an author of many projects of church architecture, including the Church of three crosses (1958), parochial centres in Wolfsburg (1963) and in the place named Riola near Bologna (1966, built in 1975-1980). He also made industrial buildings in Toppil (1931), Sunil (1936-1939), Oulu (1951-1957), dwelling house in Bremen (1958-1963), villas and exhibition hall. Не was a town planner in Rovaniemi (1946-1948) and Saynatsalo (1949-1952).

From strict geometrical forms of early buildings he went over to original combination of national traditions, principals of functionalism and organic architecture, to freedom and flexibility of axonometric spatial composition skillfully included in the nature. Aalto used a lot of wood in his buildings. Some of his building projects, which were notable for free compositions oа volume and picturesque landscape planning, were posthumously realized in Rovaniemi (1946-1948)and Saynatsalo (1949-1052).

Aalto realized his idea of artistic work’s quality in the project of his own workshop near Helsinki (1955) with the courtyard of amphitheatre form (the lecture hall withoutdoors).

Aalto was the president of the Union of the Finnish architects (1943-1958) and Finland Academy (1963-1968). Aalto made a great influence on young architects of different countries.

Memory of Alvar Aalto

The University which was founded on the 1st of January in 2010 by merger three institutions of higher education of Finland specialized on technology and design was named the Aalto University.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine