Aalto and history

Aino Niskanen

Alvar Aalto Researchers Network 2012

In the present seminar the history of Alvar Aalto's work is being dealt with on many different levels. As an introduction, I should like to discuss Aalto's relationship with history. Many of the presentations over the course of the seminar will no doubt take these issues further.

What do we know about Aalto's formative years as an architect? During the period he was studying at the Helsinki Institute of Technology, 1916-1921, the teaching there had a strong emphasis on history: examples from the antiquities beckoned as a foundation for everything new. (Fig 1)


Alvar Aalto in 1916. Photo: Schildt, Göran: The Early Years, p. 75.

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Aino Niskanen

Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture
Department of Architecture, Finland

Aalto and history