Sunday, March 30, 2008

Alvar Aalto

In the course of a career spanning over 50 years, Alvar Aalto designed nearly 100 single family houses with vast majority of them realized. In spite of this, his designs of such houses have received less attention in the writings on Aalto, with the exceptions of Villa Mairea (1938-39) and the Muuratsalo Experimental House (1952-54), which are seen as a central part of his productions. Many of small houses are, however, architectural gems where his thoughts about dwelling and architecture come together. God created paper for the purpose of drawing architecture on it. Everything else is for me- an abuse of paper. These were the words of the late renowned architect and designer Alvar Aalto in describing architecture. It was with this conviction that the Finnish master designed more than a hundred different creations during his lifetime.
" Aalto was an architect who designed for ordinary people. He created most for his friends because he strived to find something for everybody" said Alvar Aalto Museum chief curator Kaarina Mikonrata. Most of Aalto's design focused on wood and marony. Aalto tried to avoid using too much steel in his designs. He frequently choose to feature nature because he thought that steel was too cold. He wanted to incorporate warmth and make his designs as comfortable as possible.
Aalto was also known as a furniture designer. A variety of furniture and other objects that he designed, ranging from arm chairs to vases, are also on display. Some of the most notable pieces are the light fittings inspired by a beehive and a German hand grenade.











Lights fittings inspired by a German hand grenade.


Inspired by nature- The beehive-inspired light fitting designed by Aalto in 1953.
Deisgned for comfort- The Paimio Chair showcases the emotional effect of wood.

Aalto is recognised today as one of the finest masters of modern architecture. During his long and prolific career, his work encompassed key public institutions, including universities, churches, town halls and libraries, as well as standardised housing and private homes. He died on May 11, 1976 in Helsinki.

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