Building the Finnish Pavilion for the Venice Biennale in 1956. © Museum of Finnish Architecture.
Building the Finnish Pavilion for the Venice Biennale in 1956. © Museum of Finnish Architecture.

Celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Finnish pavilion in Venice

This summer marks not only the 15th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice but the 60th anniversary of the Finnish pavilion. The pavilion was designed by Alvar Aalto in 1955–56 with the intention that it could be dismantled and stored away in-between the biennales. Because of some mishaps during the construction of the prefabricated wooden wall and roof units, this idea never realised.

By courtesy of the Museum of Finnish Architecture and the Alvar Aalto Foundation, please enjoy a moment with our little gallery of historical drawings and photographs of the pavilion.

Plan of the pavilion. Drawing dated 12 March and 20 April, 1956. © Alvar Aalto Foundation

Plan of the pavilion. Drawing dated 12 March and 20 April, 1956. © Alvar Aalto Foundation

Preliminary design for the elevations of the pavilion. © Alvar Aalto Foundation

Preliminary design for the elevations of the pavilion. © Alvar Aalto Foundation

Cross section that shows the first structural solution for the skylight and the prefabricated wall panel. The drawing is dated 5 March, 1956. © Alvar Aalto Foundation

Cross section that shows the first structural solution for the skylight and the prefabricated wall panel. The drawing is dated 5 March, 1956. © Alvar Aalto Foundation

Aalto's undated sketch for the skylight. © Alvar Aalto Foundation

Aalto’s undated sketch for the skylight. © Alvar Aalto Foundation

 

Constructing the pavilion on site in 1956. @ Museum of Finnish Architecture

Constructing the pavilion on site in 1956. @ Museum of Finnish Architecture

Constructing the pavilion on site in 1956. @ Museum of Finnish Architecture

Constructing the pavilion on site in 1956. @ Museum of Finnish Architecture

Constructing the pavilion on site in 1956. @ Museum of Finnish Architecture

Constructing the pavilion on site in 1956. @ Museum of Finnish Architecture

Constructing the pavilion on site in 1956. @ Museum of Finnish Architecture

Constructing the pavilion on site in 1956. @ Museum of Finnish Architecture

Constructing the pavilion on site in 1956. @ Museum of Finnish Architecture

Constructing the pavilion on site in 1956. @ Museum of Finnish Architecture

Constructing the pavilion on site in 1956. @ Museum of Finnish Architecture

Constructing the pavilion on site in 1956. @ Museum of Finnish Architecture

Elissa and Alvar Aalto in the Finnish pavilion in 1956. The gallery space is being prepared for the inaugural exhibition of Helene Schjerfbeck's paintings. © Museum of Finnish Architecture

Elissa and Alvar Aalto in the Finnish pavilion in 1956. The gallery space is being prepared for the inaugural exhibition of Helene Schjerfbeck’s paintings. © Museum of Finnish Architecture

For further information and historical details about the pavilion, please take a look at the wonderful book “Alvar Aalto: The Finnish pavilion at the Venice Biennale” edited by Timo Keinänen (Electa, 1990).
TimoKeinanenBookCover

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