Alvar Aalto

Helsinki, Finland

The History of Alvar Aalto

Finnish architect Alvar Aalto’s concern for design as a total work of art or ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’, made him passionate about both the exterior and interior of buildings. Alvar Aalto painted and sculpted as well as designing lamps, textiles, furniture and glassware. The Finnish War of Liberation interrupted Aalto's architecture studies at the Helsinki University of Technology. Nevertheless upon his return from service Aalto completed his studies and graduated in 1921. By 1923, Aalto opened his first architectural office in Jyväskylä called ‘Alvar Aalto, Architect and Monumental Artist’. In 1925, he married fellow architect Aino Marsio.


The Work of Alvar Aalto

The work of Alvar Aalto adopted many styles throughout his long career. His early work such as the Jyväskylä Worker’s Club in 1925 was influenced by Nordic Classicism while his 1930s designs are far more functional. This shift is exemplified by the Viipuri Library, the Turun Sanomat Building and the Paimio Sanatorium. From the 1940s onwards his work came to embrace a more organic modernist style including significant buildings such as the National Museum, Helsinki and the Finlandia Concert Hall. Following Aino’s death in 1949 Aalto married his assistant Elissa Mäkiniemi in 1952. She completed many of Aalto’s works after his death in 1976 including the Essen Opera House in Germany.


Alvar Aalto at PAMONO

In the late 1920s and 1930s Aalto designed many furniture and lighting pieces. He was the first designer to use the cantilever principle in the design of wooden chairs. Most notable of these is his Paimio Chair, from 1932. Aalto’s High Stool and Stool E60 manufactured by Artek are currently used to seat customers in the Apple Store. His furniture designs are wonderful examples of the Scandinavian modern aesthetic. Pamono’s curated collection includes many of Aalto’s designs including his infamous furniture and glassware. We at Pamono prioritise quality and authenticity. Rest assured our Alvar Aalto collection is comprised of authentic items from only the best dealers.