“Alvar Aalto, and the identity of his Organic Architecture”

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Closing with this disarming quote Aalto has given the impression of being aware that at least some of his aspirations have been realized, although in the majority of cases a small element of the idea was commissioned. We are referring to the Säynätsalo Town Hall and its grand urban transformation that did not take place and even other programmes that share a similar fate. Alvar Aalto seems to have been loyal to development and always attempted to share his view from merely stepping back. The course of his career he has been characterized by radical changes in his ideology, which was reflected upon his buildings, pavilions or landscape designs. Changes of principals, perceptions even instincts, however his root dogma remained the same and of course gradually reinforced.
The three seeds of his ‘organic culture’ compose the architect’s root dogma, which have been analysed in conjunction to their case study, a claim that partially explains Aalto’s restlessness and difficulty in connecting to an architectural movement. Frampton claims that Aalto’s work has been passed on to the Finnish people and continued to the letter, and as a result we witnessed an unexpected uniformity in the urban fabric of Finland. This development has revealed to us that ultimately, Aalto created a canon for architectural expression that was executed by his people, in some cases in the broad scale of the community or in the microcosm of the individual.

From Kenneth Frampton, The Legacy of Alvar Aalto: Evolution and Influence in Alvar Aalto: Between Humanism and Materialism, pp. 125-126 and Sarah Menin & Flora Samuel, op. cit, pp. 159

[Excerpt from my Dissertation]


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