designer: alvar aalto

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The view from our hotel in the German mountains this morning revealed a clear blue sky and crisp snow glittering in the sun. “Beauty is the harmony of purpose and form” came to my mind, before getting our daughter ready for her first ever ski lesson. Gliding down the slopes in this beautiful gift of nature seemed the perfect way to spend the day – unfortunately neither for me nor the little man who has come down with a tummy bug. I might need a bit of time to get my head around today’s alternative program of children’s movies and Playmobil knights…

In case you wonder, the quote above is by Alvar Aalto (1898–1976), internationally acclaimed Finnish architect and designer, whose credo was to view design as a “total work of art”. The spectrum of his activities ranged from city planning and creating individual buildings to interior design, including furniture, lamps, furnishings, and glassware. Most of his designs could make it to my “envy list” any time, above all Aalto’s world-famous Savoy vase, designed in 1936:


source: volcania

source: volcania

The Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein/Germany calls Aalto “a chief proponent of a human-centred modernism”. The venue is currently presenting a major retrospective exhibition on the legendary architect, “Second Nature“, ending this Sunday, 1 March.


41 armchair paimio, birch, seat bent lacquered birch plywood (1942).

source: architonic

source: architonic

Three-legged stool, birch (1932/1933), and 110 pendant ceiling lamp in black, lacquered aluminium (1952).

source: 2modern

source: 2modern

The N65 children’s chair with Moomin design, birch (1935).

source: archiexpo

source: archiexpo

A331 beehive pendant lamp in white painted aluminum (1953).

source: stardust

source: stardust

A330 pendant lamp, hand-turned polished brass (1954).

Finlandia concert hall, Helsinki, Finland (1971).

20150223 aalto_alvar_aalto_finlandia_hall

source: rune snellman for alvar aalto museum

Riola parish church, Riola, Italy (1975-78)

source: column

source: column



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