Alvar Aalto: A Critical Study by Malcolm Quantrill

By Malcolm Quantrill

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Alvar Aalto was once remarkably artistic in structure and business layout. furthermore, his command of expertise used to be built-in with a humanistic variety of development, and prefer Saarinen and Frank Lloyd Wright he sought an natural synthesis of his buildings with their atmosphere. Aalto's luck in drawing close those beliefs may possibly account for the extreme unfold of his effect on a world scale.

In this large research of Aalto's paintings, Malcolm Quantrill assesses its improvement by way of strong sources-the Finnish nationwide Romantic flow and the trendy stream in structure. His critique of Aalto's most important constructions and furnishings designs is complemented via images of many phases in their construction, from the spontaneity of preliminary sketches to the finished element. Professor Quantrill first met Alvar and Elissa Aalto at Muuratsalo in June 1953, and he has been learning and photographing Aalto's constructions ever due to the fact that. His publication offers impressive insights into the paintings of 1 of the best architects of the century.

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Extra resources for Alvar Aalto: A Critical Study

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Both designs underwent substantial revisions before they were built, resulting in a new, transitional style. This was in part due to the fact that Lindgren left the partnership in 1905 to become the Director of the Central School of Applied Art, with Gesellius going two years later. 18 Although these revised drawings still carry the name of all three partners, Saarinen was clearly responsible for coordinating these revisions. Significantly, the character of the main entrance and the tower, which in the original design echoed the forms established a couple of hundred yards away in the National Museum, were substantially modified in the new design to reflect the more radical, but unsuccessful, design submitted in the competition by an architect who was later to become prominent, Sigurd Frosterus.

In the case of the turret at the left extremity of the elevation, which is superficially a powerful element, its-qualities as a tour de force are diluted by the playful decoration of the cylindrical piers of the windows in the upper storey immediately below the great, elongated pyramidal roof. This playfulness is repeated in the motifs immediately beneath the semi-conical roof of the semi-circular oriel bay that relieves the massiveness of the stonework below the upper gallery. And the oriel bay itself has an astonishingly contrasting scale compared with that of the turret which it embellishes, in fact a thoroughly domestic scale.

It explores the limits of tile-hanging and provides a clear precedent for Aalto’s own experiments in merging roof and wall to achieve a plastic continuity of building form. 24 For more than a decade, from 1894 when he won the Turku church competition until 1905, Lars Sonck contributed a number of major building designs. These, taken with the work of Gesellius, Lindgren and Saarinen, provide the core of Finland’s National Romantic architecture and the very substantial foundation on which the later developments in Finnish architecture, with their distinctive national characteristics, were based.

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