Alvar Aalto is the brightest representative of the Scandinavian style of functionalism. Visiting card of the architect became comfortable, aesthetic and functional buildings, harmoniously combined with the surrounding landscape.
Alvar Aalto was born on February 3, 1898. In 1916, Alvar entered the Polytechnic Institute in Helsingfors. Two years later he went to the war for independence of Finland as a soldier. After the war, he continues his studies, finishes the institute and receives a diploma of an architect.
At the very beginning of the creative path Aalto sought new constructive forms, giving preference to natural materials. In the early thirties, the architect moved to the capital, opens a firm to produce interior items.
The first buildings were built according to the projects of the Finnish architect in Turku in the late twenties of the last century. The buildings did not differ from other mass projects – they were designed in the form of a parallelepiped with straight rows of windows.
However, the project of the first own house, which was built in 1934 in the capital, is distinguished by the presence of characteristic signs of the Scandinavian direction of the functional style.
Among the projects of Aalto, the most interesting are the following:
The House of Culture in Helsinki, built in the fifties
House in Munkkiniemi
The house in Munkkinemi, next door to Helsinki, was a studio and residential at the same time. There was a clear distinction between the functional parts. The tower of white brick was for work, the residential part was located on the lower floors.
The Palace “Finland”, which is the most famous architect’s project, is a model of Scandinavian functionalism. It is a light, strict building with marble decoration and spacious halls.
Designed in functional style, the buildings are bright examples of designs for life. They are clearly divided into blocks that meet specific functional tasks – work, rest and transitions. Scandinavian functionalism differed in that it always took into account the surrounding conditions, in addition, aesthetics was not the last place in the design.
Aalto paid special attention to the unity of architecture and the environment of the building. In the projects of Alvar you will not find any decor elements. If there are any decorations, then they are assigned a certain functional load. Basically decorative elements are technical details such as ventilation systems, lighting equipment.
Functionalism is clearly expressed in Aalto’s projects for the construction of rest homes and hospitals. Such buildings were considered by the architect as tools for recreation and recreation.
Tuberculosis sanatorium in Paimio in the province of Varsinais-Suomi
It is worth noting that Aalto attached great importance to the comfort of the interior. For example, the system of shadowless lighting of halls and libraries. Unfolding the room with a fan to the light, the architect compensated for his lack in the climate of the country. Light was a factor of form formation. Reading rooms, catalogs and subscriptions are not fenced off from each other. They form a single space, which is divided into zones by lighting. Reading and reading rooms are designed without windows – the walls are occupied by bookshelves. The architect has 10 unrealized and 12 implemented library projects.
Library in Vyborg
The project of the library of Vyborg is interesting. In this project, Aalto realized a wavy flow of wooden plates, which had unique acoustic characteristics. In order for the books to be illuminated from all sides, Alvar made glass walls and windows in the ceiling in the library.
Scandinavian functional style Aalto was close to the organic architectural style. The architect simultaneously reveals the properties of natural materials and organically enters architecture into the surrounding nature.
The favorite wavy form is used by Aalto everywhere. The Finnish architect owns the idea that the building is a continuation of space, and nature and architecture are a single whole. His projects are characterized by the exact correspondence of the form of each structure to its purpose, while the buildings are organically combined with the landscape.
Saynatsalo Municipal Center
The work of the Scandinavian architect was marked by the creation of a large number of large public buildings projects: the municipal center of Xiaunyatsalo, the Pension Administration, the Workers’ Culture House, the home of the northern countries in Reykjavik. Among the religious buildings are the Church of the Three Crosses in Vuoksenniska, parish centers. He also designed industrial buildings, apartment houses and exhibition pavilions.