MINIMAL INTERIOR | 12 September 2015

Alvar Aalto Studio & 7 fun facts

Did you know Alvar Aalto wasn’t a  big fan of straight corners? Most of his rooms are a soft triangular shape, with natural light streaming in to enhance the creativity of his designers. This functional thinking was an important characteristic of Alvar: “God created paper for the purpose of drawing architecture on it. Everything else is, at least for me, an abuse of paper.” His functional mind let to creative solutions. Take the lamps you see hanging from the balcony for example: this was a practical solution to test the different kind of lightings he designed.

While walking around his studio, it became (painfully, I might add… ;) clear I was the only one that had much to learn about his designs and life. The three other journalists from Spain, Italy and Russia (and the most kind and professional ones out there!), knew their stuff and I felt a bit ashamed to be so naif. But as they say: you’re never old enough to learn. So, in case you want to learn a thing or two about Alvar Aalto and why Ikea keeps copying his stuff: read on!

Alvar Aalto is recognized today as one of the great masters of modern architecture. During his long career, Aalto’s work embraced almost all key public institutions – town halls, theatres, churches, libraries and universities – as well as private homes. But Aalto really got famous when he started designing furniture as well, which he began designing to complete his buildings. But no matter what he designs – houses or furniture – they all derive their special aesthetic character from their dynamic relationship with their natural surroundings. “Form must have a content, and that content must be linked with nature.”

7 fun facts about Alvar Aalto:

1. Aalto’s picture was printed on the 50 Finnish mark bill (almost a shame the Euro took over the Finnish mark).
2. Ikea copied many of his designs (see this picture to found out which ones)
3. Next to a brilliant designer, he was a business men as well. Aalto was one of the founders of Artek and used the platform the sell his designs.
4. In Scandinavian countries Aalto is often referred to as the “father of modernism”.
5. Both of his wives were designers/architects.
6. Most of his designs were made in collaboration with his first wife, Aino Marsio. Aalto didn’t made many new designs while together with his second wife, but rather they completed unfinished designs and plans.
7. Aalto served in the Finnish National Militia during the Finnish Civil War that lasted until 1918.