The Classics

Words of Wisdom: National – International by Alvar Aalto (1967)

Alvar Aalto studies the model of Zürich Altstetten parish centre in 1967.

The curator of the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale, Alejandro Aravena, has called for architects to address architecture’s social power. In response to this mission, many of the exhibitions at the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale are presenting themes, projects and strategies that have both great national significance and potentially global impact. Alvar Aalto (1898–1972) wrote a commentary titled “National – International” for a special …

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The School of Exile: A new book on architect Timo Penttilä (1931–2011)

View of the lobby of Helsinki City Theatre by Timo Penttilä, 1969. Photo: Kari Häkli, 1969. Photo source: www.finna.fi / CC BY-ND 4.0.

Finnish architect Timo Penttilä (1931–2011) is undoubtedly best known for the design of the Helsinki City Theatre (1960–67), a building which merges with the surrounding park landscape. A new book by Roger Connah, The School of Exile – Timo Penttilä for and against architecture theory, looks into Penttilä’s intriguing career and his peculiar role in Finnish architecture. About Timo Penttilä …

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The 1909 Nordic Meeting of Architects now included in The Guests of Hvitträsk exhibition

Eliel Saarinen, Loja Saarinen, Olga Gummerus-Ehrström and others. Photo: Cranbrook Archives.

Hvitträsk, the rural studio home of architects Eliel Saarinen, Armas Lindgren and Herman Gesellius built between 1901–1903 in Kirkkonummi, housed many social functions and gatherings among the residents and their vast international circle of friends, colleagues, clients and acquaintances. The summer exhibition The Guests of Hvitträsk exhibits what sort of social functions took place at Hvitträsk and a gallery of …

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Aalto’s summer paradises at the Alvar Aalto Museum in Jyväskylä

Weekend house by Alvar Aalto for the Insulite Company of Finland. The house was on display at the Paris World Fair in 1937. Drawing from the Alvar Aalto Museum collections.

Alvar Aalto’s prolific career included designs for more than 100 summer homes. A carefully curated selection of these is now on display at the Alvar Aalto Museum in Jyväskylä in the delightfully sunny gallery exhibition La Dolce Vita – Summer Paradises by Alvar Aalto. The exhibition embraces the versatility of Aalto’s architecture including various versions for pre-fabricated holiday homes, competition …

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Pleasant it is to be when death is near. Alvar Aalto’s unrealized cemetery and funeral chapel designs in Jyväskylä

Malmi funeral chapel, Alvar Aalto 1950. Main chapel courtyard is bounded by the hillock and colonnade for urn burials. Sketch. Alvar Aalto Museum / Collection.

Hyvä on olla, kun on lähellä kuolemaa.
 Pleasant it is to be when death is near.
 – Uuno Kailas, 1931; English translation Sofia Singler Città dei Morti – City of the Dead, the spring exhibition at the Alvar Aalto Museum gallery in Jyväskylä, on until 17.05.2015, welcomes its visitors with the above quote from Uuno Kaila’s poem “In the Morning”, …

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Europa Nostra 2015 Award for the conservation of Aalto Library in Vyborg

Viipurin Alvar Aalto -kirjasto 2014. Kuva: Alvar Aalto -museo / Maija Holma. Alvar Aalto Library in Vyborg. Photo: Alvar Aalto Museum / Maija Holma.

Europa Nostra, the pan-European network for Europe’s cultural and natural heritage, has announced today that the restoration of Alvar Aalto’s masterpiece, the Viipuri Library (Vyborg, Russia; built between 1933–35), is awarded with the Europa Nostra 2015 Award for conservation. The Jury were in no doubt they were dealing here with one of the major masterpieces of the modern movement in architecture. …

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The renovated Didrichsen Art Museum is flourishing in Revell’s architecture

The Didrichsen Art Museum, 2014. Photo: Rauno Träskelin.

The Didrichsen Art Museum in Helsinki has turned a new leaf. After repair and alteration works the museum reopened with an Edvard Munch exhibition. Paula Holmila writes about the renovated museum in the newest Finnish Architectural Review 6/2014. A Thriving Private Museum Paula Holmila The Didrichsen Art Museum has reopened after extensive refurbishment that aimed to make the museum more …

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Short film tribute to Aarno Ruusuvuori

kajaste-videofeature

Wednesday, the 14th of January 2015, marks the 90th anniversary of one the greatest Finnish modernists, architect Aarno Ruusuvuori (1925–1992). He is best known for his powerful works in concrete minimalism, but his long and esteemed career also entailed highly influential positions in several key institutions of Finnish architecture. Architect Helmi Kajaste pays homage to Ruusuvuori’s architecture with her short …

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