The functionalist architect who became a world renowned name in the furniture design history
Born: 1898 in Kuortane, Finland. Died: 1976 in Helsinki, Finland
Alvar Aalto is, without comparison, the biggest finnish name in furniture design history throughout the years. Despite that fact, it was not originally in the furniture world Aaltos focus were it was directed at classic functionalistic architecture.
Aalto began his career in 1916 were he started is arhitectural studies at the technological university in Helsinki. His studies were interrupted by the finnish civilwar, in which he fought. When the war ended Aalto resumed his studies and graduated in 1921 - in which period he built his first piece of architecture, a house for his parents in Alajärvi, Finland. Aalto opened his own architectural office in 1923 in Jyväskylä, during this time he mainly designed smaller single-family houses in the town.
In 1924 Aalto marries architect Aino Marsio (later Aino Aalto) and this bond will play an important role in Aaltos entrance into the furniture design world. He began to design furniture as a natural extension of his architectural way of thinking and the wish to create a consensus in the balance between the architectural components of building and interior - a way of thinking that, amongst others, dane Arne Jacobsen also practiced in his work. What became the first example of this way of thinking, was when Aalto was elected to design the Paimio Tuberculosis Sanatorium in 1929. The project was finished in 1933 and during the building process Aalto decided to complete the building with specialized interior as well, which were designed and developed in close cooperation with Aaltos wife, Aino. From the interior originated two of Aaltos most well-known pieces; the Stool 60 and the Paimio Easy chair, these two icons have been in production ever since. The Aalto couple started ARTEK in 1935 as a platform for distribution of their furniture. The ARTEK company still exists today and it might be considered as a synonym for finnish furniture design.
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