ABOUT THE BOOK
With Nordic culture at the height of its influence this book offers the chance to discover the region's most famous and successful architect, Alvar Aalto, one of the twentieth-centuries most popular and accessible masters.
Born in Finland, Aalto’s work is steeped in the influence of the unique Nordic 'nightlands,' a severe climate with limited sunlight that has informed much of Scandinavia's design legacy and current noir-ish appeal. In architecture, this intensity has lead to an unparalleled integration of culture and place. Aalto's sensitivity to external factors became a touchstone for all his work and his enthusiastic engagement of Modern architecture became a response to the severity long dictated by Finland’s climate. This was followed by a lifelong resistance to the ‘dehumanisation’ of the International Style, an empty formal shell unable to respond to life taking place.
Aalto's significant body of work includes architecture and design, spanning furniture, textiles and glassware. Considered by most to be by far the most popular and accessible of the first generation of leading Modern architects, Aalto’s architecture is arguably unmatched by that of any other major designer of the 20th century in its integration with place and daily life.
This book engages the architecture of Aalto through an integrated examination of his major works, how they engage the light, climate and topography of their sites, exemplifying the way in which he extended Finnish tradition and engaged newly emerging Modern materials. It describes the actual inhabitation of Aalto’s architecture and the way in which daily life and of contemporary culture are integrated in the experience of interior space – something that was of paramount importance to Aalto.
This is a fantastic and leading title for Aalto and architecture enthusiasts as well as the uninitiated who are keen to learn more.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Robert McCarter is a practicing architect and has been Ruth and Norman Moore Professor of Architecture at Washington University in St. Louis since 2007. He taught previously at the University of Florida, where he was Director of the School of Architecture from 1991–2001, and Columbia University, among other schools. He has written for numerous international publications, and his books include: Carlo Scarpa (2013); Understanding Architecture, co-authored with Juhani Pallasmaa (2012); Louis I Kahn (2005); On and By Frank Lloyd Wright: A Primer of Architectural Principles (2005); Frank Lloyd Wright (1997); Unity Temple (1997); and Fallingwater (1994), all by Phaidon Press. He has also published Wiel Arets: Autobiographical References (2012); Frank Lloyd Wright: Critical Lives (2006); and William Morgan: Selected and Current Work (2002), among other books.