Can you recognize Finnish design?

Last time I spoke about Sibelius, the great Finnish composer. I was very excited about that topic, but let us move forward; this time I would like to acquaint you with one of the greatest Finnish architects:  Alvar Aalto.

Alvar Aalto was born in Kuortane, in 1898. Aalto studied architecture at the Technical University of Helsinki. Later on he left his mark on the University by designing the University’s Auditorium. After his graduation he started his career as an exhibition designer. Later he and his wife Aino Aalto founded a company, Artek, in 1935. At the time, Aalto was experimenting with materials such as wood. His best-known furniture design is the Paimio Chair, which is made of birch wood.

An example of a Paimio Chair can be found here.

The Savoy vase, which Alvar Aalto designed, can probably be found in every Finnish home. The Savoy vase represents all the qualities of Finnish taste: originality, simplicity and sophistication.  The shape of the Savoy vase imitates the Finnish landscape and lakes.

For those of you who are interested in seeing the Alvar Aalto vase collection, you can admire his works here.

Finnish architecture has been influenced a lot by Aalto; the straight lines, simplicity, purity and natural colors are the keywords in his design.

Lastly, I would like to show you an example of a typical Finnish Alvar Aalto apartment.  Looking at this apartment, though located in Berlin, brings back some memories from my childhood.

Aalto also designed libraries, hospitals, museums, private homes and theaters. He had a unique style and a great talent, which brought him to the top.

University of Jyväskylä designed by Alvar Aalto


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