Press release June 9, 2008

Organiser Alvar Aalto Museum

14.6. -30.8.2008 Nordic House, Reykjavik, Iceland.

Alvar Aalto 1949–1952: Sport hall for the Helsinki university of Technology in Otaniemi, Espoo. Photo Heikki Havas / Alvar Aalto Museum.

Alvar Aalto 1944: Reconstruction of A. Ahlström Co. sawmill in Varkaus.
Photo Roos / Alvar Aalto Museum

Alvar Aalto 1951–1956: Jyväskylä Institute of Pedagogics (today university; building C). Photo Maija Holma / Alvar Aalto Museum

In Alvar Aalto’s architecture, wood has an important role symbolically and as a material. Aalto emphasised the biological characteristics of wood and its relationship with people and nature in various different contexts in his architecture. The ease with which wood can be worked, its pleasantness to the touch, its warmth and its potential for taking different finishes were important to him. In contrast to rationalist steel and concrete building, Aalto’s architecture emphasises soft values that are close to nature; people are taken into account in all his designs.
This exhibition presents Aalto’s relationship with tradition, innovation and nature through the medium of materials, construction, rhythm, detail and changes in form. The exhibition panels use photos and drawings to highlight Alvar Aalto’s architecture and his use of wood in a variety of buildings from the Villa Flora in the 1920s to Nordic House in Reykjavik in 1968. The models focus on the Villa Kokkonen from the 1960s and the Forest Pavilion for the Lapua Agricultural Show from 1938. The exhibition also includes original models from the Alvar Aalto Museum archives.
The exhibition has been organised by the Alvar Aalto Museum and designed by Davidsson Architects. The exhibition Alvar Aalto – Dimensions on wood has been sponsored by the Nordic Cultural Foundation and the City of Jyväskylä.

Entrétak, Villa Mairea, 1937-39.
Alvar Aalto Foundation/Alvar Aaltomuseet.

Takkonstruktion Jyväskylä universitet, 1951-59.
Alvar Aalto Foundation/Alvar Aaltomuseet

Takkonstruktionen, stadshuset i Säynätsalo, 1949-52.
Alvar Aalto Foundation/Alvar Aaltomuseet.

Alvar Aalto 1938: Forest pavilion for the agricultural exhibition in Lapua.
Photo Gustaf Welin / Alvar Aalto Museum.

Porträtt av Alvar Aalto
Alvar Aalto Foundation/Alvar Aaltomuseet.

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