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Alvar Aalto – A Master of Timeless Design

Alvar Aalto – A Master of Timeless Design

Alvar Aalto was born in Kuortane, Finland in 1908, and he lived until 1976. He was a renowned Finnish architect and designer of furniture. His studies led him to architectural school in Helskini, where he graduated in 1921. However, his career did not begin well in Helskini, and so he moved on to a smaller town to start an office and begin his career.

His wife, Aino, was originally hired as his assistant. She was a young woman who designed glass and furniture. Later, they had two children. In the 1920’s and 1930’s, Alvar Aalto designed several well know landmarks in Finland. In the late 1940’s, he taught at MIT. Some of his most well known furniture includes a variety of table designs and lamps.

Alvar Aalto, Aino Aalto, Maire Gullichsen and Nils-Gustav Hahl founded a company named Artek to design furniture. Alvar Aalto designed several classic Aalto furniture (Aalto möbler) including tables, desks, side chairs, lounge chairs, stools, armchairs and children’s furniture. Alvar Aalto designed his first lamps as a student in the university of technology in Helsinki where he won a lighting competition in 1920. The name Aalto is still highly regarded in the world of lighting and lamps as he designed several classic lamp models that are considered as modern today as when he designed them.

Before he even graduated, Alvar Aalto began designing his first furniture. Once in his new architecture office, he received a huge order to design furniture for six churches in Finland. He designed the well known Paimio Sanatorium in 1929. He also designed each piece of furniture in the structure, as well as the lamps. For each structure he designed, he also designed custom “Aalto tables” and other furniture for it.

Alvar Aalto was a very talented person. He designed his first furniture when he was in college only. He opened his office and was able to bag an order to design furniture for six churches of Finland. Widely known Paimio Sanatorium including its furniture and lamps was also designed by him. He designed particular table that became popular as Aalto tables. He designed complete furniture of all his office buildings.

The Father of Modernism in the Nordic countries, Alvar Aalto referred to his style as “Organic Functionalism”. He has left a significant impact on the furniture design and architecture fields. He and his wife also designed some well known glassware, including the Aalto Vase. The final compliment he received was the introduction of the Alvar Aalto Medal by the Museum of Finnish Architecture and the Finnish Association of Architects. This medal is granted for important contributions to creative architects.