Designer Spotlight: Alvar Aalto

Alvar Aalto was a Finnish architect, furniture designer, and overall craftsman whose career spanned from the 1920’s to the 1970’s. He was inspired by the Central European greats such as a Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius. He had an exhibit in the MOMA New York in 1938, and by then he was only the second architect to have a showcase there. This followed positive critiques even from Frank Lloyd Wright who called it the, “work of a genius.”

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Philosophy and Early Work

Another interesting part of his works was that he was a believer in- get ready for this word- Gesamtkunstwerk. This German philopshy was coined by K. F. E. Trahndorff and then Richard Wagner, and many other mostly European modernist artists during the 1930’s-1940’s. It literally translates to, “total work of art.” It may sound more confusing than it really is. This is simply a reference to design a building as well as all the interior furnishings to fit the outside. We love this concept because, while the word is almost impossible for the average English speaker to repeat, it comes with a basic meaning that all architects, interior designers, furniture designers, etc. He did this with his wife, Aino, who would design a lot of buildings with him.

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Aalto Furniture

Eventually came his furniture line, today known as Aalto. His pieces are exceptionally crafted. Alvar was known for being an experimentalist during his time. He was specifically drawn to the use of bent plywood in his chairs, and with this technique, he created the Paimo chair which was originally designed for the sitting tuberculosis patient in mind. All in all, his furniture still stands today as iconic pieces of the Scandinavian design. With that, we created some of our favorites of his collections.

Our Favorites

1. Pendant Light // 2. Natural Birch Lounge Chair // 3. Paimo Scroll Chair // 4. Three Legged Stool // 5. 65 Chair // 6. 43 Lounge Chair 

His furniture pieces are widely known and repeatedly knocked off throughout the years. But as we’ve seen, this simplicity of design and use of light wood will always be in style. Especially when the craftsmanship is as good as Alvar’s.

Interested in giving your home a specially curated look with the help of professionals? Give us a call! We’d love to help design your dream space catered specifically for you and your family.

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Remodeling and Home Design

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