Six Essential Materials & The Architects That Love Them

In case you missed it, we’re re-publishing this popular post for your material pleasure. Enjoy!

To celebrate the recent launch of our US product catalog, ArchDaily Materials, we’ve coupled six iconic architects with what we deem to be their favourite or most frequently used material. From Oscar Neimeyer’s sinuous use of to Kengo Kuma‘s innovative use of , which materials define some of the world’s best known architects?

Happy Birthday Alvar Aalto

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Alvar Aalto, born February 3,1898, would have turned 116 years old today. Known for his humanistic approach to modernism, Aalto was concerned about creating a total work of art. He did not simply design buildings but also paid close attention to their interior features, including furniture, lamps, and glassware design.

His architectural style began with Nordic Classicism and moved to International Style Modernism, and eventually evolved into a more synthetic and personal Modernism. He was one of the first and most influential architects of the Scandinavian modern movement. Aalto remains one of the greatest names in modern architecture.

To celebrate Aalto’s birth, we invite you to look back at his impressive collection of works:

Exhibition: Aalto’s architecture in Rovaniemi

View of the Civic Square From Rovaniemi Town Hall, Hallituskatu 7. Photo: Jukka Suvilehto/Provincial Museum of Lapland

Aalto’s architecture in Rovaniemi, a new exhibition at the Museum, takes an in-depth look at ’s work in and around Rovaniemi. As well as the administrative and cultural centre, the works on show include lesser-known residential and commercial buildings. The exhibition, collated by the Provincial Museum of Lapland, will be open in the Gallery at the Museum from 1.11.2013 to 2.2.2014.

Aalto’s work in Rovaniemi began as early as the 1940s with master planning. Over the decades that followed, various buildings were constructed such as the Aho residential and commercial complex in the city centre and the Korkalorinne housing scheme, built according to the garden suburb ideal. Aalto’s monumental architecture is represented by the Town Hall, the Library and Lappia Hall completed between the 1960s and the 1980s.

As well as the architecture, Aalto’s buildings are examined from the viewpoint of visitors, employees and residents. “The experiences of users provide an alternative, complementary viewpoint on Aalto’s buildings, which allows room for critical comment,” says Charlotte Malaprade who has written the exhibition texts.

The Alvar Aalto Museum has supplemented the Timeless exhibition with local comment from Jyväskylä. Experiences of living in the Viitatorni multi-storey block in Jyväskylä are told by the residents themselves in words and pictures.

Title: Exhibition: Aalto’s architecture in Rovaniemi
Website: http://www.alvaraalto.fi/index_en.htm
Organizers: Alvar Aalto Museum
From: Fri, 01 Nov 2013 
Until: Sun, 02 Feb 2014
Venue: Gallery at the Alvar Aalto Museum
Address: Alvar Aallon katu 7, 40600 Jyväskylä sub-region,

“The Hug” / MenoMenoPiu Architects & Paolo Venturella

Courtesy of MenoMenoPiu Architects &

MenoMenoPiu Architects & Paolo Venturella just released their entry for the Alvar Aalto University Otaniemi Campus Competition in Helsinki. Their proposal focuses on the creation of an energy-efficient learning environment that rethinks the traditional courtyard typology. It uses different levels and heights to create a variety of public and private spaces open to both students and inhabitants of the city, all while framing the main building.

The architects’ description after the break. 

Verstas Architects Selected for New Core of Aalto University in Finland

Courtesy of Verstas Architects Ltd

Helsinki-based Verstas Architects have recently been announced as the winners of a competition to design a new central campus for the Aalto University in EspooFinland. The new core of the university will sit alongside the campus’s original Main Building and Library designed by Alvar Aalto.

AD Classics: Heilig Geist Kirche / Alvar Aalto

Courtesy of Samuel Ludwig

Aalvar Aalto is arguably one of the most important architects of the 20th century. Known for his all-around care for the design of buildings, Aalto often not only designed the exterior but individual interior features as well. He designed a total of six buildings in Germany, one of them being Heilig Geist Kirche, an Evangelistic Luthern church in , Germany.  He was asked to design this church on November 5, 1958; it was completed four years later in 1962.

AD Classics: Stephanuskirche / Alvar Aalto

Courtesy of Samuel Ludwig

Stephanuskirche, translated to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of St. Stephen, was designed by and completed in 1968.  It is located in Wolfsburg, , the same town that Aalto’s Wolfsburg Cultural Center was built. Stephanuskirche is among the prominent architectural testimonies of International Modernism in Germany.

Architecture City Guide: Beirut

© Flickr User Omar Chatriwala

Following a brutal 15-year civil war that tore the city apart, Beirut has recovered remarkably; it was voted the number one destination to visit by the New York Times in 2009, and, more recently, received a similar title by Frommer’s. The city is in the second phase of one of the biggest urban reconstruction projects in the world, run by Solidere, which has brought architects like Steven Holl, Herzog & DeMeuron, Zaha Hadid, Vincent James, and Rafael Moneo to the local scene. In less internationalized parts of the city sit the landmarks of the 1960s and 1970s, Beirut’s pre-war glory days, including buildings by names such as Alvar Aalto, Victor Gruen, and the Swiss Addor & Julliard. With a city growing as fast as Beirut it is impossible to have a final city guide, so we look forward to hearing your suggestions and building on this over the years.

Photos and a map of Beirut’s most exciting buildings after the break…

AD Classics: Maison Louis Carré / Alvar Aalto

Courtesy of Samuel Ludwig

In the commune of , about 40 kilometers southwest of Paris, sits one of the most important private houses designed by : Maison Louis Carré. The client, Louis Carré, was a prominent French art dealer who was also very interested in architecture. He desired a house that would be able to accommodate many guests for art viewings, but also incorporated a private component. He commissioned Aalto to design his house in 1956, and Louis Carré and his wife, Olga, were able to move into their new home three years later.

AD Classics: Wolfsburg Cultural Center / Alvar Aalto

Courtesy of www.worldarchitecturemap.com

Wolfsburg Cultural Center, located approximately 230 kilometers west of Berlin in Wolfsburg, , was constructed from 1959 to 1962. It was designed by Finnish architect and designer . Aalto was born in Kuortane, Finland and studied architecture at the Helsinki University of Technology, graduating in 1921.

Speakers Confirmed for “Crafted – The Ingredients of Architecture” Alvar Aalto Symposium

To be held August 10-12, the 12th international Symposium, entitled “CRAFTED – The Ingredients of Architecture”, will discuss how architecture can rise above the ordinary. The symposium will feature 14 top experts and thinkers in their fields, offering their takes on this year’s theme. The latest addition to the list of speakers is Mohsen Mostafavi, a renowned architect who is dean and professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Mohsen Mostafavi (US) will take the slot of Richard Sennett, whose appearance was cancelled earlier. In addition to Mostafavi, symposium speakers include Kjetil T. Thorsen, founding partner of Snøhetta, the agency responsible for the design of the Oslo Opera House and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina; architect Takaharu Tezuka; and Bjarne Mastenbroek, founder of the Amsterdam-based agency SeARCH. For more information about the event, please visit here.

12th International Alvar Aalto Symposium: ‘Crafted’ – The Ingredients of Architecture

Chapel of St. Lawrence. Anu PUUSTINEN & Ville HARA, Avanto Achitect / © Tuomas Uusheimo

The 12th International Alvar Aalto Symposium will be held in Jyväskylä from August 10-12, 2012. With the theme of ‘Crafted’ – The Ingredients of Architecture’, the question arises: How does architecture rise above the ordinary? Organised by the Academy, the international Symposium aims to address the complex relationship between material, craft and culture, not simply as a matter of professional practice but also as a sociological and pedagogical imperative. More information on the event after the break.

AD Classics: Muuratsalo Experimental House / Alvar Aalto

© Nico Saieh

Soon after the passing of his wife in 1949, Alto began the design for a summer getaway for himself on the western shore of island , . Through the process of designing the house, it became an experimental study of materiality, architecture construction and philosophies.

More on Alvar Aalto‘s Experimental House after the break.

 

Winners of ‘Alvar Aalto: The Mark of the Hand’, by Harry Charrington and Vezio Nava

A week ago we launched a giveaway for you to win 4 copies of Alvar Aalto: The Mark of the Hand, by Harry Charrington and Vezio Nava. Today, and after more than 300 comments, we have our 4 lucky winners!

- Jin Woo Shin
- Sam Khudairi
- Catherine Stelling
- David Thompson

Thanks everyone for participating, we will take your suggestions and try to publish most of them for our AD Classics section. And if you didn’t win, don’t worry.. .there’s more giveaways to come!

Giveaway: Win a copy of Alvar Aalto: The Mark of the Hand, by Harry Charrington and Vezio Nava

Great news everybody! Thanks to Rakennustieto Publishing we have 4 copies of Alvar Aalto: The Mark of the Hand, by Harry Charrington and Vezio Nava. To win one of the copies you must become a registered user in ArchDaily and answer the following question in the comments: Which project should be featured in our AD Classics section? We already have a few so check them out so you don’t repeat them:

- Riola Parish Church
- Jyvaskyla University
- Villa Mairea
- MIT Baker House Dormitory

Remember you have to comment as a registered user to participate! We’ll be announcing the winners next Tuesday. And don’t forget to follow us through Twitter and Facebook for more amazing giveaways. Good luck!

AD Classics: Jyvaskyla University / Alvar Aalto

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After entering a general planning competition at the end of May 1951 for the Jyvaskyla Institute of Pedagogics, Alvar Aalto was immediately commissioned to begin working on the plans of each of the individual buildings that were to be added amidst existing complex. He was awarded first prize with his entry ‘Urbs’, which is reminiscent of some of his previous projects. The U pattern formed by the buildings frames the open center space, where a sports field is accessible by foot.

More on by Alvar Aalto after the break.

AD Classics: Riola Parish Church / Alvar Aalto

© Franco Di Capua

Designed by Finnish architect, Alvar Aalto, Riola Parrish Church is a stunning form which mimics and modulates with the contours of its Italian landscape. The magnificent baptistery, completed in 1978, is located eight kilometers south of Bologna in the small town of Riola. Aalto’s evocative modernist architecture captures the spirit of this mountain setting; it is a spiritual structure which, inside and out, unassumingly expresses sanctity of faith and place.

More on Church after the break.

‘Six Architects’ posters by Andrea Gallo

Mies van der Rohe / © Andrea Gallo

We saw this incredible set of posters from iconic architects created by artist Andrea Gallo and felt the need to share them with you. They will be available for sale soon, so we look forward to buy one and decorate our office! Which one would you get? Check the posters of Frank Lloyd Wright, , , Alvar Aalto and Walter Gropius after the break.