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Alvar Aalto

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AD Classics: Jyväskylä University Building / Alvar Aalto

09:00 - 28 March, 2016
AD Classics: Jyväskylä University Building / Alvar Aalto, © Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

Jyväskylä, a city whose status as the center of Finnish culture and academia during the nineteenth century earned it the nickname “the Athens of Finland,” awarded Alvar Aalto the contract to design a university campus worthy of the city’s cultural heritage in 1951. Built around the pre-existing facilities of Finland’s Athenaeum, the new university would be designed with great care to respect both its natural and institutional surroundings.

The city of Jyväskylä was by no means unfamiliar to Aalto; he had moved there as a young boy with his family in 1903 and returned to form his practice in the city after qualifying as an architect in Helsinki in 1923. He was well acquainted with Jyväskylä’s Teacher Seminary, which had been a bastion of the study of the Finnish language since 1863. Such an institution was eminently important in a country that had spent most of its history as part of either Sweden or Russia. As such, the teaching of Finnish was considered an integral part of the awakening of the fledgling country’s national identity.[1]

© Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh + 24

AD Classics: Viipuri Library / Alvar Aalto

07:00 - 18 May, 2015
AD Classics: Viipuri Library / Alvar Aalto, © Denis Esakov
© Denis Esakov

Despite being one of the seminal works of modern Scandinavian architecture, Alvar Aalto’s Viipuri Library languished in relative obscurity for three-quarters of a century until its media breakthrough in late 2014. Its receipt of the World Monuments Fund/Knoll Modernism Prize for a recent renovation was covered by news outlets around the world, bringing the 1935 building previously unseen levels of attention and scrutiny.

This renaissance is nothing less than extraordinary. Abandoned for over a decade and allowed to fall into complete disrepair, the building was once so forgotten that many believed it had actually been demolished. [1] For decades, architects studied Aalto’s project only in drawings and prewar black-and-white photographs, not knowing whether the original was still standing, and if it was, how it was being used. Its transformation from modern icon to deserted relic to architectural classic is a tale of political intrigue, warfare, and the perseverance of a dedicated few who saved the building from ruin.

© Denis Esakov © Denis Esakov © Denis Esakov © Denis Esakov + 44

AD Classics: Heilig Geist Kirche / Alvar Aalto

01:00 - 19 June, 2013
AD Classics: Heilig Geist Kirche / Alvar Aalto, © Samuel Ludwig
© Samuel Ludwig

Aalvar Aalto is arguably one of the most important architects of the 20th century. He is known for his all-around care for the design of buildings, and often not only designs 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 Wolfsburg, Germany.  Aalto was asked to design this church on November 5, 1958, and it was completed four years later in 1962.

AD Classics: Stephanuskirche / Alvar Aalto

01:00 - 14 May, 2013
AD Classics: Stephanuskirche / Alvar Aalto, © Samuel Ludwig
© Samuel Ludwig

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

AD Classics: Maison Louis Carré / Alvar Aalto

01:00 - 6 April, 2013
AD Classics: Maison Louis Carré  / Alvar Aalto, © Samuel Ludwig
© Samuel Ludwig

In the commune of Bazoches-sur-Guyonnes, about 40 kilometers southwest of Paris, sits one of the most important private houses designed by Alvar Aalto: 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.

© Samuel Ludwig © Samuel Ludwig © Samuel Ludwig © Samuel Ludwig + 16

AD Classics: Wolfsburg Cultural Center / Alvar Aalto

00:00 - 28 January, 2013
AD Classics: Wolfsburg Cultural Center / Alvar Aalto, Courtesy of www.worldarchitecturemap.com
Courtesy of www.worldarchitecturemap.com

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

© Samuel Ludwig © Samuel Ludwig © Samuel Ludwig © Samuel Ludwig + 6

AD Classics: Muuratsalo Experimental House / Alvar Aalto

00:00 - 7 March, 2012
AD Classics: Muuratsalo Experimental House / Alvar Aalto, © Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

© Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh + 20

  • Architects

  • Location

    Säynätsalo, Finland
  • Category

  • Architect

    Alvar Aalto
  • References

    Galinsky
  • Project Year

    1953
  • Photographs

AD Classics: Jyvaskyla University / Alvar Aalto

00:00 - 1 February, 2012
AD Classics: Jyvaskyla University / Alvar Aalto, © Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

© Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh Courtesy of alvar aalto architects Courtesy of alvar aalto architects + 24

  • Architects

  • Location

    Jyvaskyla, Finland
  • Category

  • Architect

    Alvar Aalto
  • Drawings

    Alvar Aalto's Architecture
  • References

    MIMOA, Lukkarinen
  • Project Year

    1959
  • Photographs

AD Classics: Riola Parish Church / Alvar Aalto

00:00 - 6 September, 2011
AD Classics: Riola Parish Church / Alvar Aalto, © Franco Di Capua
© Franco Di Capua

© Franco Di Capua © Franco Di Capua © Franco Di Capua © Franco Di Capua + 19

  • Architects

  • Location

    Grizzana, Italy
  • Category

  • Architect

    Alvar Aalto
  • References

    greatbuildings.com, Robert Kahn, museodeitarocchi.net
  • Photographs

AD Classics: Villa Mairea / Alvar Aalto

00:00 - 28 October, 2010
AD Classics: Villa Mairea / Alvar Aalto, © Flickr username: Leon
© Flickr username: Leon

© Alvar Aalto © Alvar Aalto © Alvar Aalto AD Classics: Villa Mairea / Alvar Aalto + 12

A collage of materials amongst the trunks of countless birch trees in the Finnish landscape, the Villa Mairea built by Alvar Aalto in 1939 is a significant dwelling that marks a transition from traditional to modern architecture. Built as a guest house and rural retreat for Harry and Maire Gullichsen, Aalto was given permission to experiment with his thoughts and styles, which becomes clear when studying the strangely cohesive residence.

AD Classics: MIT Baker House Dormitory / Alvar Aalto

00:00 - 29 May, 2010
AD Classics: MIT Baker House Dormitory / Alvar Aalto, © Wikimedia - dDxc
© Wikimedia - dDxc

Courtesy of MIT AD Classics: MIT Baker House Dormitory / Alvar Aalto AD Classics: MIT Baker House Dormitory / Alvar Aalto Courtesy of MIT + 15

  • Architects

  • Location

    Cambridge, MA, USA
  • Category

  • Architect

    Alvar Aalto
  • Renovation Architect

    Perry Dean Rogers Architects
  • References

    Karl Fleig, ed. Alvar Aalto. Scarsdale, N.Y.: Wittenborn and Company, 1963., and mit.edu, excerpts from Alvar Aalto by Nicholas Ray
  • Project Year

    1948
  • Photographs