Alvar Aalto (1898-1976)

The most important Finnish architect of the 20th century

Viipuri Library

Alvar Aalto Library in Vyborg (Viipuri Library), which was designed by Alvar Aalto and completed in 1935, it is said to be "a masterpiece of International Modernism in both European and global terms." At the time of its completion, the town of Viipuri was part of Finland, but was given to the Soviet Union after the Second World War.

The final decision on the construction of the library was taken in September 1933. By that time, the site had been changed, and Aalto had to make new drawings. Over this time, a change took place in the architect's way of thinking. The locatinew site for the librarywas in a park; it allowed Aalto to design in different ways.. it gave him a new kind of freedom.The library was opened in October 1935.

Paimio Sanatorium

Paimio Sanatorium, was influenced by the styles of new architecture Aalto had admired on European trips. Rather than simply copying that style, he changed it...made it his own. When he designed the Paimio Sanatorium he thought about the project from the a patients point of view Aalto wanted to create a peaceful yet cheery environment. Every detail was important : from the canary yellow paint on the stairs, to the heating and a specially made tap which water poured silently to avoid disturbing other patients.

Aalto also designed all the sanatorium furniture including the 1931-32 Paimio Chair. The Paimio Chair was devised to ease the breathing of tubercolosis patients it was made out of moulded wood and plywood which, Aalto believed, would be warmer and more comfortable than metal. The Paimio Sanatorium was completed in 1933.

Glass design

Alvar Aalto designed this vase for the Karhula-Iittala Glass Design Competition in 1936.
Manufactured by Iittala