Aalto, Alvar

Finnish architect 1898 - 1976.

For his brother he made his first furniture in 1921, then his wife Aino Marsio and he received the order for the development of a large café in Jyväskylä. In the summer of 1924, they designed the premises of the Häme Association, before winning a competition organized by the Finnish Society of Decorative Arts. Alvar Aalto travels a lot. He meets the architect Gunnar Asplund at Stockolhm, then Sven Markelius. The couple settled in Turku in 1927. Alvar Alto abandoned the neoclassical style for the international style and built the headquarters of the daily Turun Samonat between 1928 and 1929 and the sanatorium of Paimio between 1929 and 1933. It deals with the production of furniture from series with Otto Korhonen, director of the Huonekalu factory. The first chair is stackable, combining solid wood and curved plywood, with manual assembly. To go into mass production, he produced a prototype mounted on a base made of steel tubes. Aalto gives wood new forms, through its technical experiments. He manufactures laminated beech legs, screwed under the curved seat, which extend into armrests. In 1932, he put the famous "Aalto foot" to use, then many models of seats for the Viipuri library, inaugurated in 1935.

Artek, founded in 1935, markets and distributes its models internationally. The furniture is made of natural materials, the shapes are ergonomic, while maintaining rigor and simplicity.

An exhibition is dedicated to Aalto in New York in 1938. In 1940 he returned to the United States, where he gave lectures on reconstruction in Finland. He started his classes at MIT the same year.