Aalto, Hugo Alvar Henrik (1898-1976).
Finnish architect and highly-regarded C20 designer, he started his career as a #Neo-Classicist in Jyväskylä (1923-7), but, influenced by #CIAM and by Aino Marsio (1894-1949)-his wife and partner from 1925-became involved in #International #Modernism after his office moved to Turku. The Standard Apartment Block, Turku (1927-9), incorporated prefabricated #concrete units, while the Turun Sanomat Building (1928-30) was the first of his designs to incorporate Le #Corbusier’s #’Five Points of a New Architecture’. Among his early buildings were the Viipuri Library (1927, 1930-5) and the Paimio Tuberculosis Sanatorium (1928-33), which established his credentials as an architect of international stature with his own distinctive idiosyncrasies. In the Turku years Aalto’s reputation grew, not least because of his furniture designs in which bent plywood played a considerable part: his three-legged stacking-stool (1938) is ubiquitous. Timber also enjoyed a growing role in his architecture, as in his country’s Pavilion at the Paris Exposition Universelle (1937) and the Villa Mairea at Noormarkku (1937-9). His more personal style, in which curved walls, monopitched roofs, and brick-and-timber construction were prominent, evolved after the 1939-45 war: perhaps the most memorable designs are the Baker House Halls of Residence at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA with its serpentine walls and projecting staircases (1946-9); the Town Hall at Säynätsalo, with it’s brickwork and monopitched roofs (1949-52); and the Finlandia Conference Centre and Concert Hall, Helsinki (1962-75). His interest in all aspects of design extended to many artifacts: his celebrated vases, for example, are still given as wedding-presents in Finland today. In 1952 Aalto married Elissa Mäkiniemi (1922-94), who worked on many later projects, taking over the practice after his death.