Alvar Aalto Architect, Finland

Alvar Aalto Architect, Finnish Building, Modernist Architecture Finland, Info, Projects, Houses, Designs

Alvar Aalto, Architect

Modern Finnish Architecture : Key 20th Century Buildings in Finland

26 + 24 May 2016

Alvar Aalto News

40 years from the death of the pioneering Finnish architect Alvar Aalto – website celebrates his legacy

It is 40 years since the death of world-renowned Finnish architect Alvar Aalto.

To commemorate him and to celebrate his work Expedia has created a portfolio of his most notable works around the world:

The World According to Alvar: http://alvarin-maailma.expedia.fi/en

It includes 15 buildings around the world: city halls, theatres, private homes, cultural centres and churches. See his architecture in Finland, Denmark, Germany and US and learn more about the designs.

some major buildings by architect Alvar Aalto:

Finlandia Hall, Helsinki, Finland:

Finlandia Hall, Helsinki, Finland
photo : Thermos, CC BY 2.5.

Finlandia Hall is often considered one of the true masterpieces by Alvar Aalto. The name of the building illustrates the significance with which the building is charged. Aalto himself saw Finlandia Hall as a symbol of an independent Finland.

Baker House, MIT, United States:

Baker House, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
photo : TDaderot, CC BY-SA 3.0.

The Baker House is a student dormitory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, U.S. The building is one of the most prestigious works of art designed by Alvar Aalto overseas.

From the website you can also find new information about the buildings that illustrates well Aalto’s practical and comprehensive design philosophy.

Aalto admired the idea of Gesamtkunstwerk, the total work of art. In the buildings he designed, he always paid attention to the purpose of use and designed the details and furniture as carefully as the whole structure of the building. The following examples show this quite well:-

– In the Paimio Sanatorium, a tuberculosis sanatorium built in 1930’s, alongside the grand design of the building, he took the patient comfort and well-being into account in many ways. Aalto knew that the patients would share rooms, so he designed non-splash basins so that the patients wouldn’t disturb each other when washing. He also designed sunning balconies at the end of patients’ bedrooms because in the early 20th century the only known cure for tuberculosis was to spend time outside in the sun.

– Aalto’s love for nature, skylight and practical design is visible in all of his buildings. Kunsten, the museum for modern art in Aalborg, Denmark, uses light colours and utilises the skylight to illuminate the museum in strategic ways. Baker House, a student hall of residence at the MIT campus in the US, was designed to a form of a wave because Aalto wanted as many students as possible to face the Charles River and the woods instead of a busy road.

– Aalto designed various concert halls and churches where he wanted to make sure the space is multi-use, light and pleasant, and the acoustics is outstanding. In the Church of the Three Crosses in Imatra, Finland, moveable doors enable the use of the church for parish activities. In the Finlandia Hall, the towering structure of the building was made to improve the acoustics of a 1700-seating concert hall through resonance.

Alvar’s world by Expedia.fi

some more key examples:

Turun Sanomat offices, Turku, Finland:

Turun Sanomat newspaper offices, Turku, Finland
photo : Kreegah, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Alvar Aalto started working on the Turun Sanomat building in 1928 and fully finished in spring 1930. The building was known for its multipurpose setup, including printing presses in the basement, rented shop facilities on street level, a newspaper office on the floor above and even a luxury flat with a roof terrace on the top floor.

Lakeuden Risti Church, Seinäjoki, Finland:

Lakeuden Risti Church, Seinäjoki, Finland
photo : Mädsen, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Lakeuden Risti Church was built between 1958 and 1960 and is located in Seinäjoki, Finland. The church gets its name ‘Cross of The Plains’ from its 65-metre-high bell tower which is shaped as a stylised cross.

Venice Biennale Finnish Pavilion by architect Alvar Aalto:
Venice Biennale Finnish Pavilion by architect Alvar Aalto
photograph © AJ Welch

23 Apr 2014

Alvar Aalto Exhibition

Reason & Intuition – Alvar Aalto & Ola Kolehmainen in Soane

PM Gallery & Pitzhanger Manor, Walpole Park, Mattock Lane, Ealing, London W5 5EQ, England, UK

4 July – 24 August 2014

Finnish art, architecture, design and photography fills Soane’s dream house this summer

Pioneering design by Alvar Aalto and breathtaking architectural photography by Ola Kolehmainen.

This summer, the art, architecture and design of Finland will be celebrated in London. Reason & Intuition – Alvar Aalto & Ola Kolehmainen in Soane is a new exhibition bringing together the finest works of an acknowledged great of international modernist architecture and design and three collections of images by an acclaimed Finnish photographer.

Finnish art, architecture, design and photography fills Soane’s dream house this summer

Alvar Aalto Exhibition

Alvar Aalto – Modern House

Maison Louis Carré, Bazoches-sur-Guyonne, west of Paris, northern France
1956-1959/63
Alvar Aalto house in France
photograph © Collection Maison Louis Carré
Alvar Aalto House
In June 1959, the French art dealer and collector Louis Carré moved with his third wife Olga into the house designed by Alvar Aalto in Bazoches-sur-Guyonne, some 40 km southwest of Paris. Combining architecture, furniture and landscape, Maison Louis Carré is the architect’s only remaining building in France and one of his most remarkable private houses.

Alvar Aalto – Key Projects

Summary of Locations
FINLAND
Alajärvi + Espoo + Helsinki + Imatra + Kauttua + Kotka + Järvenpää + Jyväskylä + Lahti + Noormarkku + Paimio + Rovaniemi + Seinäjoki + Turku

GERMANY
Essen

USA
Boston + St Benedict

Key buildings by Aalto are as follows
Helsinki: Aalto House + Studio Aalto + Finlandia Hall
Espoo, west Helsinki: Helsinki University of Technology, Otaniemi
Paimio: Sanatorium
Turku: Turun Sanomat
Jyväskylä: Säynätsalo Town Hall + Jyväskylä University + Muuratsalo House
Noormarkku, Pori: Villa Mairea

The churches at Imatra and Seinäjoki plus Rovaniemi Cultural Centre are also important

Venice Biennale – Finnish Pavilion, Giardini, Venice, Italy by architect Alvar Aalto
Venice Biennale Finnish Pavilion Venice Biennale Finnish Pavilion Venice Biennale Finnish Pavilion Venice Biennale Finnish Pavilion
photographs © Adrian Welch

Alvar Aalto : full buildings list & personal view

To really get a feel for Aalto we suggest as a minimum visiting Helsinki, Noormarkku (nr Pori) and Jyväskylä over 2 days; I toured Finland over two weeks (route outlined at base of this page) and visited most of the buildings below which are fairly spread out despite the two concentrations in Helsinki and Jyväskylä. Other views/tips welcome at info(at)e-architect.co.uk

Alvar Aalto – Winner of RIBA Gold Medal 1957

Helsinki Buildings

Aalto House
1935-36
Address: Riihitie 20, Munkkiniemi, 00330 Helsinki
Guided tours

Studio Aalto
1954-55, 1962-63
Address: Tiilimäki 20, 00330 Helsinki

GERMANY
Essen Concert Hall

Interbau Apartment House, Berlin, Germany
1957
Alvar Aalto
Interbau Apartment House
photo © Adrian Welch

Hansaviertel Buildings by various celebrated 20th Century architects

USA
Baker Dormitory, MIT, Boston

Mount Angel Abbey Library, St Benedict


To see all listed projects on a single map please follow this link.

Alvar Aalto – Practice Information

One of the key architects of the 20th Century, generally viewed as being less didactic compared to Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe and Walter Gropius. Alavar Aalto represent a way of melding the international Style with nature and to a certain extent the local vernacular and national traditions.

Architect studio was based in Finland

Finnish Architecture
Kuokkala Church Building
photograph : Jussi Tianen / Mikko Auerniitty

Alvar Aalto Medal

Modern Architects

Alvar Aalto context – Helsinki Buildings

19 Mar 2012

Modern House inspired by Alvar Aalto

Rockfield House, Claonaig, Skipness, Tarbert, Argyll, south west Scotland, UK
Offers in excess of GBP £700,000
Property for sale by Knight Frank

“An iconic house in a remarkable location. Rockfield is a large modern home. Its striking design was inspired by the work of Finnish architect Alvar Aalto and contains several of his signature features. One of Rockfield’s outstanding features is its remarkable location and views.

Rockfield House Rockfield House Claonaig Rockfield House Skipness Rockfield House Argyll
photographs from selling agents

The unique location provides Rockfield with some of the finest views and seascapes in the West of Scotland, if not Western Europe.”

There are uninterrupted views towards the Isles of Bute and Cumbrae, across the Clyde Estuary to the Ayrshire Coast, over the Sound to Arran and down it towards Carradale, Campbeltown, South Kintyre and the North Channel, beyond which Ireland lies.

Scottish ‘Alvar Aalto House‘ – Knight Frank external link

Finnish Architecture Walking Tours
Helsinki Station Building
photo : City of Helsinki

Modern Houses

Comments / photos for the Alvar Aalto Architecture Finnish Design Practice page welcome

Alvar Aalto Architect

Website: www.alvaraalto.fi

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