Alvar Aalto is recognized today as one of the great masters of modern architecture. During his long career, Aalto’s work embraced almost all key public institutions – town halls, theatres, churches, libraries and universities – as well as standardized housing and private homes.
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 special surroundings, their human scale, superbly executed details, unique treatment of materials and ingenious use of lighting. However, Aalto’s architecture is not the exclusive property of Finland: it forms part of a common cultural heritage of European and worldwide significance.
Through the innovations in form and line that were born in his furniture designs, Aalto’s name has also become important in the history of design. In fact, Aalto first achieved fame in Continental Europe as a furniture designer, and only later as an architect.
1898 born at Kuortane on February 3th
1916 matriculation from Jyväskylä Lyceum
1921 diploma of architecture at the Institute of Technology, Helsinki
1923–27 private architectural office in Jyväskylä
1924 married to Aino Marsio (died in 1949)
1927–33 private architectural office in Turku
1933–94 private architectural office in Helsinki
1943–58 Chairman of the Association of Finnish Architects (Honory Member since 1958)
1946–48 Professor of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA
1952 married to Elissa Mäkiniemi (died in 1994)
1955– Member of the Finnish Academy (Emeritus Member since 1968)
1963–68 President of the Finnish Academy
1976 died in Helsinki on May 11th