Alvar Aalto

July 01, 2015

Architect, designer, sculptor and painter, Finish architect Hugo Alvar Henrik Aaltowas a multi-dimensional creator. Respected for his understanding of design as a Gesamtkunstwerk (a total work of art), Aalto’s career included architecture, furniture, textiles and glassware. Aalto’s approach filtered through from the exterior to the interior with his strong belief that the Architecture of a structure needs to be complimented by it’s surfaces, finishes and furniture on the interior. During the 1920’s and 1930’s Aalto and his wife Aino decided to design the furniture for the Paimio Sanatorium (tuberculosis sanatorium in Paimio, Southwest Finland). They decided to design a chair that would be comfortable for the patients to sit in and as a result developed the Paimio chair with a bent plywood frame. In 1935 the Aaltos, Maire Gullichsen and art historian Nils-Gustav Hahl founded Artek to sell their original furniture pieces along with other international furniture pieces. These young idealists’ business strategy was “to sell furniture and to promote a modern culture of living by exhibitions and other educational means”. It was inspiring to recently come across original photos of residential projects from Aalto’s drawing board:

* All images via ‘Somewhere I would like to live’