Alvar Aalto

The Alvar Aalto Story

A pioneer of modern architecture and design, Alvar Aalto (1898–1976) brought the tenets of Finnish design to the rest of the world. At the heart of his design philosophy, Aalto strove to combined elements of user-friendly design, functionalism and organic forms in his designs. In addition to these design elements, Aalto’s designs excelled thanks to his ingenious use of materials. Through these design principles, Aalto helped define the Finnish design aesthetic the world recognizes today.

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Aalto approached each project as a complete work of art, designing everything from the building all the way down to the furniture, lighting and accessories. He co-founded the company Artek to bring his functional modern aesthetic to the public and support growing demand for his furniture designs.

Aalto was also fascinated with glass, and his experimentation with this material resulted in his winning entry to the Karhula-Iittala glassware design competition, the Savoy Vase. Also known as the Aalto Vase, this organically shaped vase is a modern design icon that is one of the world’s most famous glass design pieces still in production today.

Why We Love Alvar Aalto

Aalto’s approach to design strove for beauty as well as practical application. The harmonious relationship with nature, functionalism combined with beauty, experimental forms and exquisite details in his designs made him a true innovator and pioneer of modern design.

Noteworthy Products from Alvar Aalto

In addition to the Aalto Vase, Aalto’s Stool 60 created in 1933 garnered attention for the unique wood bending technique used to create the arched legs. Other well-known pieces from Aalto include the Paimio Armchair (1951), Lamp a331(1951), and the Tea Trolley 900 (1936).

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Alvar Aalto