As a prolific and masterful architect, Aalto is the undisputed doyen of Finnish, even Nordic, Modernism. First establishing his studio in the early 1920s, Aalto’s architectural practice produced an eclectic oeuvre that spans the styles of Nordic Classicism, Functionalism and the International Style.
But to prescribe Aalto’s projects as being examples of ‘x’ style is to deny the idiosyncratic architectural language he developed throughout his life. Like any true great, Aalto is considered as such because of his clarity of individual expression, uniqueness of design and uncharted experimentation.
Nowhere is that more evident than in his furniture, textile and lighting designs, of which the simple, almost naïve-looking ‘60 Stool’ and the curvaceous ‘Paimio Chair’ – named after the tuberculosis sanatorium for which it was designed – are perhaps the most famous. They serve as perfect distillations of Aalto’s greatest achievements: functionalist utility, bentwood innovation and sculptural elegance. ~ from The Modern House
Aalto’s most important—and underappreciated—colleague was Aino Marsio-Aalto, his wife and professional partner. Alvar and Aino were such close collaborators that it is impossible to determine each individual’s specific contributions to the work. The couple married and began their career partnership in 1924, and together oversaw the completion of significant projects like the Paimio Sanatorium and co-founded the furniture company Artek, which still sells their internationally acclaimed furniture. Were it not for Aino’s untimely death from cancer in 1949, we would now likely privilege the couple over the individual and consider the Aaltos the Charles and Ray Eames of their day. ~ from The Architect Magazine