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Alvar Aalto

This week's featured designer was a pioneer of modern architecture and design - and his work is celebrated all over the world

Alvar Aalto (b. 1898 - d. 1976) is probably the most famous Finnish architect and designer in the world.

In 1921 Alvar Aalto got the Diploma of Architecture at the Helsinki Institute of Technology and his career as an architect started. One of the most important works he was commissioned was the planning of the Tuberculosis Sanatorium in Paimio, Finland.

This project also became the beginning of Aalto’s career as a furniture designer – in fact this was the first building planned by Aalto which was entirely furnished with pieces of furniture designed by Aalto himself – including the lighting as well.

Aalto’s architecture is distinctively Finnish. It is marked by a warm humanity and strong individuality. His buildings derive their special aesthetic character from their dynamic relationship with their natural surroundings, their human scale, superbly executed details, unique treatment of materials and ingenious use of lighting.

Like all great art, however, Aalto’s architecture transcends national boundaries. His work is not the exclusive property of Finland: it forms a part of a common cultural heritage of European and worldwide significance.

Alvar Aalto was a versatile designer whose work covered several different fields. He is well-known also for his elegant lamps, which very often were designed for individual construction projects and later on adapted for serial production.

Alvar Aalto was also an esteemed glass designer and his most famous work as a glass designer is the Aalto vase – one of the most iconic glassware pieces in Finnish design history.
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