Thursday, November 20, 2008

AALTO (äl’tō), ALVAR (1889-1976)

Finnish architect and furniture designer and exponent-with his wife and collaborator, Aino (died 1949)-of the so-called International style of architecture. Educated entirely in Finland, he became world famous in the 1930's for his severely functional work there. For a decade after the outbreak of World War II he lived partly in the United States, where he taught, and designed a striking dormitory, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After returning to Finland, he produced increasingly lyrical designs, often incorporating elements of the landscape, culminating in the vast combination symphony hall-conference center in Helsinki called Finlandia Hall, site of the European Security Conference in 1975.

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