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Alvar Aalto     (1898 - 1976)
Aino Aalto (1894 - 1949)

The Pension chair was introduced in 1938-9. It has a laminated, cantilevered birch frame with solid birch cross-rails.

Hugo Alvar Henrik Aalto was an architect and designer from Finland. He was noted for his humanistic approach and for being one of the first and most influential architects of Scandinavian modernism - so much so that he is sometimes known at the "Father of Modernism" in Scandinavia. His work includes architecture, furniture & glassware. He is the eponym of the Alvar Aalto Medal, now considered one of world architecture's most prestigious awards.

Alvar Aalto was born in Kuortane, Finland and studied architecture at the Helsinki University of Technology from 1916 to 1921. He returned to Jyväskylä, where he opened his first architectural office in 1923.

In 1924 Aino Marsio went to work at architect Alvar Aalto's office. The two fell in love, married and so began a long partnership.

Their honeymoon to Italy sealed an intellectual bond with the culture of the Mediterranean region that was to remain important to Aalto for the rest of his life.

In 1932, Alvar Aalto, already on his way to international fame as an architect, lost a design competition to his wife, Aino. Aino Aalto also won a gold medal at the Milan Triennale. In 1935 they founded Artek, a firm selling glassware and furniture, now merged with Littala. In 1936 Aino & Alvar collaborated on the celebrated Savoy Vase.

Alvar Aalto gained international fame by his remarkable designs for laminated-wood furniture and by his plans for the Finnish pavilions at the World's Fair expositions in Paris (1937) and New York (1939). Appointed professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1940, he designed there the serpentine Baker House (1947–48). After World War II he was active in reconstruction in Finland. His major postwar works included a number of striking civic buildings in Helsinki, the Maison Carré in Paris (designed in collaboration with Elissa Makkinheimo, his second wife), and the Wolfsburg cultural center in Germany.

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uk modern furniture

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