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Alvar Aalto and The Art of Landscape



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ISBN 9781032116648
March 11, 2022 Forthcoming by Routledge
128 Pages 74 B/W Illustrations

 
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Book Description

Alvar Aalto and The Art of Landscape captures the essence of the Finnish architect’s landscape concept, emphasising culture and tradition, which characterised his approach to and understanding of architecture as part of the wider environment. From the forests of his youth to sights from his travels, Alvar Aalto (1898 – 1976) was influenced by outdoor landscapes. Throughout his career, he felt the need to shape the terrain and this became a signature of his architecture. Divided into five chapters, this book traces Aalto’s relationship with landscape, starting with an analysis of his definitions and descriptions of landscape language, which ranged from natural references and biological terms, to synonyms and comparisons. It includes beautifully illustrated case study projects from the 1950s and 1960s, discussing Aalto’s transformation of different landscapes through topography, terracing and tiers, ruins and natural elements, horizon outlines, landmarks and the repetition of form. Featuring archival sketches, garden drawings and plans, the book also contains Aalto’s text ‘Architecture in the Landscape of Central Finland’ from 1925 in the appendix. This book provides fascinating, untold insights into Aalto’s relationship with landscape and how this developed during his lifetime, for scholars, researchers and students interested in architecture and landscape history, landscape art and cultural studies.

Table of Contents

Contents

Preface by Jussi Rautsi

Introduction

WRITINGS OF ALVAR AALTO

Landscape

Biology and nature

Garden and architecture

THE ORIGIN OF AALTO’S LANDSCAPE CONCEPT

The Finnish national landscape

Light and shadow in Alvar Aalto’s architecture

The garden art as part of landscape

The holistic approach in Aalto’s architecture

Riihitie House

The garden city movement

Sunila

The re-evaluated landscape

The shifting contours in Aalto’s architecture

Muurame Church

The room in between

Muuratsalo experimental house

Towards a modern landscape

Paimio Sanatorium

The forerunners of Nordic landscape architecture, the contemporaries of Aalto

Garden designers consulting Aalto

Ateljee Aalto

The Japanese reconstructed landscape

Authenticity of materials and forms in Aalto’s architecture

Villa Mairea

The Mediterranean landscape

The constructed landscape of Aalto

Jyväskylä university

A side track to the Orient

National pensions Institute

The United States – genius loci and the raised importance of spatial planning

Aerial plans and greeneries

Oulu river rapids centre

ALVAR AALTO – THE INFLUNCES OF THE VISUAL ARTS

The Modern art in Aalto’s time

Gesamtkunstwerk

The role of sketching

Salpausselkä relief and Suommussalmi war memorial

Shaping the terrain as an attribute in Aalto’s architecture

Säynätsalo Town Hall

Toward ‘monumental art’

Seinäjoki

CASE STUDIES

Green flexibility – Master plans of Imatra and Lapland

Two sides of Urbanism – Helsinki City Centre and satellite centre Stensvik

Two town halls using the best out of landscape – Kiruna and Alajärvi

Cultural projects – in a valley and on top – Nordic House and Shiraz Art museum

Churches as landmarks – Riola di Vergato and in Lahti

The private houses on the slope – Maison Carré and Villa Kokkonen

CONCLUSIONS Featuring landscape

ALVAR AALTO Architecture in the Landscape of Central Finland, 1926

CHRONOLOGY Aalto’s main projects related to his writings, travels and personal contacts

Index

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Author(s)

Biography

 

Teija Isohauta is a freelance curator and writer who previously worked on exhibitions at the Finnish Architecture Museum and the Alvar Aalto Museum, the latter where she worked as a curator between 1986 - 2009. She received a scholarship from the Finnish Culture Foundation to investigate deeper connections between Aalto and landscape, and has an MA from Jyväskylä University, Finland.