Alvar Aalto - Nordic Design London Tuesday, September 23, 2014 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    The estate of Mr Hirvonen, founder of Valaistustyö Ky, Finland

  • Catalogue Essay

    Aalto worked on the Finlandia Hall between the early 1960s and up until his death in 1976. The building comprises of the main auditorium, several concert halls, a restaurant and a café’. The masterpiece erected in the heart of Helsinki, next to the Parliament House, the National Museum and the Helsinki Music Centre, functioned as a congress and opera venue. The architect's work was not limited to the building itself, but every detail of the interior from lighting to furniture.

  • Artist Biography

    Alvar Aalto

    Finnish • 1898 - 1976

    In contrast with the functionalism of the International Style (as well the neoclassicism put forward by the Nazi and Soviet regimes), Alvar Aalto brought a refreshing breath of humanism to modern design: "True architecture exists only where man stands in the center," he wrote. Aalto designed furniture in stack-laminated plywood composed of Finnish birch, which was cost-effective and lent warmth to his interiors. Aalto also revived Finnish glass design with his entries in the various Karhula-Iitala glassworks competitions throughout the 1930s.

    In 1936 he won first place for a collection of colorful, wavy vases in various sizes titled Eskimoerindens skinnbuxa (The Eskimo Woman’s Leather Breeches). The vases were an immediate success and the most popular size, now known as the "Savoy" vase, is still in production today. Aalto's freeform designs, in harmony with human needs and nature, anticipated the organic modernism of the 1950s and 1960s; in particular, his innovations in bent plywood had a major impact on designers such as Charles and Ray Eames.

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Standing ashtray, designed for Finlandia Hall, Helsinki

Brass, aluminium, leather bound metal.
59.1 cm (23 1/4 in.) high
Manufactured by Valaistustyö Ky, Finland.Base impressed with AA/Valaistustyö.

£3,000 - 4,000 

Sold for £3,750

Contact Specialist
Ben Williams
+44 20 7318 4027

Nordic Design

London 24 September 2014 6pm