Collectie van topdesigner Alvar Aalto - Buro International

Alvar Aalto


Alvar Aalto

Hugo Alvar Henrik Aalto (February 3, 1898 – May 11, 1976) was a prominent Finnish architect and designer, known for his versatile contributions to the fields of architecture, furniture, textiles and glassware. Although Aalto was a versatile creator, he never considered himself an artist and saw painting and sculpture as extensions of architecture. His career unfolded in parallel with Finland's remarkable economic growth and industrialization during the first half of the 20th century, finding many of his clients among the industrial elite, including the Ahlström-Gullichsen family, who granted him patronage.

Aalto's architectural trajectory, which spanned from the 1920s to the 1970s, is characterized by evolving styles. He made the transition from Nordic classicism in his early work to the rational modernist International style in the 1930s and eventually adopted a more organic modernist style in the 1940s and beyond.

A notable feature of Aalto's architectural work was his emphasis on Gesamtkunstwerk, the concept of a total work of art, where he and his first wife, Aino Aalto, carefully designed not only the building but also its interior components, furniture, lighting and glassware. Aalto's furniture designs are considered examples of Scandinavian modernism, notable for their elegant simplicity and material considerations, particularly wood. His inventive approaches to design even earned him patents for several manufacturing techniques, such as those for bentwood.

Aalto's groundbreaking design of curved plywood furniture had a profound influence on mid-20th century modernism, noticeably influencing the design aesthetic of such greats as Charles and Ray Eames and George Nelson. The Alvar Aalto Museum, a creation of Aalto's own design, bears witness to his heritage in his hometown of Jyväskylä.

His work, as recognized by the Museum of Modern Art, represents a remarkable synthesis of romantic and pragmatic ideals, carefully manipulating form and materials with a balance between rationality and intuition. Inspired by international modernism and functionalism prevalent in Finland, Aalto's designs have had a significant influence on the course of modernism, both before and after World War II, and left a lasting impression on the world of architecture and design.