Alvar Aalto - Finnish Architect

Alvar Aalto

Alvar Aalto -Finnish Architect

Hugo Alvar Henrik Aalto, also known as Alvar Aalto (1898-1976). He was a Finnish architect and designer. Aalto’s is famous for his building designs as well as furniture designs. He also leads to the development of his unique architectural style that is ‘Cubism’ and ‘Collage’. Aalto used natural elements to enhance the architecture of a building. He works majorly on light, color and texture to develop a ‘Collage’ form on his Architectural landscape.

So in this post, we are discussing the Architectural styles, Design Philosophies and famous works of Alvar Aalto. His various Work Styles and also the unique contributions to the Architecture.

Alvar Aalto is also known for his contribution of different works. For instance:

  • Architecture
  • Furniture Design
  • Textiles
  • Glassware
  • Sculptures
  • Paintings
  • Author

Alvar Aalto Work Styles:

  1. Aalto is influence by the Neo-Classic Movement as well as the International styles.
  2. He uses natural resources, form and elements creatively to design a building.
  3. Aalto’s modified the functionalism and symbolism of Modern movement. Also, to develop his ideas of design in plans and forms of the buildings.
  4. Aalto’s design was remarkable because of their material selectionbuilding forms and site-responsive design.
  5. His works and styles symbolize a distinctive function, expressions and human styles.

Alvar Aalto Design Philosophies

  • His influenced by natural elements and organic materials. Also, he used different materials in their designs. For instance: In furniture, he uses Tabular steel. In other words, he uses modern materials of that time.
  • His innovative ideas and design philosophies are developed from natural forms and elements. However, he was representing his design of organic modernism.
  • In Aalto’s designs, represent a connection between nature, people and building. So, he worked majorly on these three important components of life in a materialized form.
  • The vision of his work is hidden in his design approach. He also works on various art forms and in very different scales. For instance: Town planning, Building Designs, Furniture’s, Sculptures, Glassware, Jewellery, etc.

Alvar Aalto Architectural Styles:

Aalto’s worked on various Architectural Styles in a different forms and places. Some of these are as follows:

1. Nordic Modernism

Nordic Classical Style is a style that represents the architecture of Nordic Countries. In other words, a style that develops or come in light after a reaction to the early style i.e. National Romanticism. Moreover, he reaches his career from the style Nordic Classicism to the International style and Organic style of Modernism

2. Humanistic Modernism

In Humanistic design, Aesthetics and functions belong to this style. The humanistic style appears in the machine age, where it also believed that the social connection between nature and people is damaged or harmed.

3. Functionalism

Functionalism refers to the forms and materials of that particular era of design and architecture. Also, without thinking or recognizing the traditional concepts of Symmetry, Proportions, etc. The concept of functionalism used in building designs.

4. Bio Architecture

Aalto’s influence by the Nature of Finnish forests & lakes as well as the Organic forms. Bio-climatic solutions, this a way to blend natural features or elements into the design of a building. Such as Sunlight, create a natural environment inside a building, etc.

ALSO READ: B V DOSHI -Pritzker Prize winner

Important Buildings of Alvar Aalto:

Baker's House Usa - Alvar Aalto
Baker’s House Usa – Alvar Aalto

1. Baker’s House, USA

  • Baker’s House is a dormitory building of MIT’s University, USA. The name of a building is given after the death of MIT’s dean, Everett Moore Baker. So, it was named as a ‘Baker’s House’ in 1950.
  • Built-in: 1947-1948
  • Site Location: On a heavily trafficked street along the Charles River, USA
  • Architectural Style: Modernist Housing
  • Plan: Curve Plan Form
  • Building Type: A dormitory building
  • Building Materials: Bricks, Limestone

Features of Baker’s House:

  • The concept behind the curved building form is to avoid the disturbing street view from rooms. Moreover, not a single room of a dormitory is at right angle to the street.
  • Rustic Bricks was used to built free form of the rooms. Additionally, they used dark colored over-burnt bricks clinkers for rough texture in exterior. Also, used limestones for claddings in common rooms.
  • Roof lights, are use to lit the lower floors of the building. Hence, the upper floors has a continuous view of Charles river.
  • The ground floor columns are cylindrical in shape and plastered. The upper floor level is beyond the trees and their relation to reinforced by a splatter shape and timber cladding.
  • The ground floor gathering space is consider as ‘Organic’. The term ‘Organic’ refers to the different geometry and shape used in landscape. Also, the different use of materials in both exterior and interiors.

Baker’s House is also consider as one of the remarkable works of Alvar Aalto. It is always remains as ‘A work of Art’ by Alvar Aalto. Hence, this building reflects the Aalto’s social beliefs and formal strategies.

2. Helsinki University, Finland

The Helsinki University of Technology was a technical university in Finland. Alvar Aalto designed the campus for Otaniemi Technical University, Espoo Finland in between 1949-1996.

In 1949, the university was first founded by Grand Duke Nicolas I. Also in 1908, he received the status of University. Later in 1966, the campus of university is combine from Helsinki to Otaniemi University . Furthermore, the university is incorporate into Aalto University in 2010. Then, the university is named as ‘Aalto’s University School of Science &Technology’.

  • Location: Otaniemi, Espoo (the metropolitan area of Greater Helsinki)
  • Materials Used: Dark Red Brick, Black Granite & Copper
  • Space Includes: The main building, the Library, the Auditorium, Shopping Centre, the water tank and the curve shaped auditorium.

Features of the University:

  • The focal point of the University is the Auditorium building. Hence, the building is famous for it’s two large halls.
  • The University is divided into 3 principle departments
  1. Architecture Department
  2. Geodetic Department
  3. General Department
  • The lamp-post in the University campus is designed in different ways. Therefore, because the cover reflect the light indirectly, which doesn’t effect the intensity of light. Therefore, the three different types of lamp-posts are-
  1. A curved cover
  2. A straight cover
  3. A without cover or no cover
  • The most visible part of the building is the cube shaped Power plant. Therefore, because the glass façade of the building enhance the exterior view from the inside.
  • The roof of the building and also the projections is made up of Copper.
  • The library of the building is the oldest and largest library building in Finland.
  • The four storey, V-shaped building dormitory in a campus. It is known as ‘Jamerantaival’. In addition, the dormitory building functions as an Hotel in summers.
  • Furthermore, the Aalto’s University is a merger of three different Finnish University of different eras. They are-
  1. The Helsinki University of Technology, 1849
  2. The University of Art & Design Helsinki, 1871
  3. The Helsinki University/School of Economics, 1904
  • Closed collaboration between the scientific, business and arts communities aims to promote multi-disciplinary education and research.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is the famous book of Alvar Aalto?

1. Alvar Aalto
2. Alvar Aalto-Houses Timesless Experience
3. Alvar Aalto Furniture’s
4. Alvar Aalto Sketches
5. The Architectural Drawings of Alvar Aalto 1917-1939

Alvar Aalto architecture style

Aalto’s works on Modernism Architectural Style. He also plays with natural features and various materials.

Famous Building Design By Alvar Alto

1.Baker’s House, USA
2. Helsinki University, Finland
3. House of Culture
4. Riola Parish Church
5. Maison Louis Carre;

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