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During his time, Alvar Aalto was one of the most successful artists whose works are still evident in today’s world. Aalto was known for bringing out modernism in his works especially in an era that had valued tradition in art. This was a time when his country was changing rapidly, having gained its independence. The period from 1928 to 1939 was the time when Aalto clearly decided to use aspects of Modernism in his architectural works and vocabulary. However, this did not deter him from using the traditional Finnish architecture that was widely recognized in Scandinavia.

The works he produced between 1928 and 1939 clearly demonstrated features of modernism and Finnish Architecture. Significantly, the year 1928 marked a time when Aalto transformed his career activities. Some of these changes include the fact that he was included in the membership of CIAM. In addition, this was the time when he created an important furniture firm called ‘Artek,’ that showed his passion for his own style in designing furniture. Aalto also changed significantly in terms of the features and characteristics included in his works (Schildt & Aalto, Alvar Aalto: the complete catalog of architecture, design, and art, 1994). These features included functionalism, organicism, indeterminism and dynamism. Aalto did not just build his architecture from a vacuum. Certain people had influenced his works and these influenced were evident in the works that he produced between 1928 and 1939. These artists include Gropius, Mies, and Le Corbusier. His architectural works that majorly featured these aspects include the Paimio Sanatorium and Turun Sanomat newspaper building. It is important to note that Aalto depicted a complete modernist vocabulary and art through the application of cubism architectural techniques into the buildings. From 1928, the combination of modernism and traditional Finnish architecture in his works; in addition to, the history brought about by the national romanticism gain strength in his architectural pieces (Schildt & Aalto, Alvar Aalto: the complete catalog of architecture, design, and art, 1994).

Through this time, Aalto created and extensively used a notion referred to as organic modernism, in most of his architectural works as seen in buildings, such as Viipuri Library, the New York Pavilion, his house in Helsinki, Villa Mairea, the Paris Pavilion and Inkeroinen Elementary School. These buildings clearly demonstrated Aalto’s passion for a new humanized architecture. However, his transformation from Traditional Finnish Architecture in a modern humanized architecture did not occur in a smooth process. This was especially seen in the application of the modern cubism collage techniques from a two-dimensional perspective into three-dimensional art that gave importance to the inclusion of environmental dimensions, to the wall-plane of his buildings. To achieve this, Aalto was able to release the individual elements from composite solution. In addition, his emphasis on both the Interior and Exterior was also shown in his works between works in this time period between 1928 and 1939. His wife was of particular help in bringing out the importance of the interior and exterior relationship.

More importantly, the interior revealed the exterior through the application of materials, such as sand, stone and wood. In addition, he made the fascia of his architectural designs appear different compared to those produced by artists who preferred modern designs. Aalto’s idea of interior and exterior was keenly absorbed into the newspaper building. This was clearly brought out from the top of stair that was put at the main street-level entry. Moreover, the L-shape configuration on to the dark platform was filled with exterior aspects, to look like an outdoor space. To add on to that the exterior curtain wall was placed in the opposite direction of the office.

Villa Mairea located in Noormarku was a building that clearly brought out the aspect of Modernism as produced by the new style, modernism, used by Aalto. He integrated regional history and culture in his style of modernism. Aalto designed Villa Mairea for Maire and Harry Gullichsen’s private residence in Noormarkku. The building displayed a combination of regional history and culture from Germany, Russia, and France present at that time. As GöranSchildt’s says, “The Villa Mairea occupies a special position in Aalto’s architectural oeuvre, for he designed it at the most critical moment of his architectural career.” In his own words, he views the villa building as a form of “experimental laboratory” that is used to test and develop new ideas that would otherwise lack in traditional architectural designs that were meant to preserve the status quo. One of the important aspects achieved in Aalto’s modern design was to adapt traditional art collection in to a modern lifestyle. This opposed the estheticism and “high culture” that were developed in traditional architectural designs one of which was Aato’s designs and texts. ” (Schildt, Alvar Aalto: the Mature Years).

Aalto’s also included the social and political idea of designing Villa Mairea. The general architectural design was formed in L-shapes that were included in the rooms of the Villa buildings which cover around the central courtyard in summer occupation. It was his intention of including the notion of gather and socializes space from the traditional idea. He also included exterior curvy walls and the river idea that revealed Aalto’s idea of organicism and nature, which was influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright used in his building, the Falling Water (Filler, 2010).

On the exterior, Aalto used different layers on every part of the building, façade, which reflected an obvious characteristic of Aalto’s modernism. In addition, he created harmony in his buildings by including big and small tiles and wood as finishing on the floors. All the corner of the building had different layers that started from the foundation of the windows to the upper. The columns integrated rustic columns and artificial columns. An example of this was the use of concrete poles that were made of wooden columns that were erected individually. In addition, the carpet that was placed inside the building had a mixture of fabric and rustic.  The weaving of fabric and rustic materials depicted traditional ideology that was integrated in his modern architectural design. To add on to this, he included the fireplace in his modern buildings. fireplace. At the entrance of the building towards the staircase, the fireplace could be seen diagonally, at the corner of the floor. The fireplace was an indication of tradition being included in modernism.

The interior and exterior views especially from Le Corbusier were evident in his modern buildings. For instance, the Corbusier Villa Savoye building integrated the elements of the interior and the exterior. On the other hand, Aalto made his buildings unique in the sense that he brought the exterior elements into the interior, for instance, in Villa Mairea. In an article wrote in 1926, in Aitta Journal he said,” Villa Mairea and Villa Savoye seem the extension of this opposite view in different notion of buildings they built in the real world. This showed the extent to which he valued both the interior and exterior of his architectural designs. This was practically brought out in the transformation from TurunSanomet building to Villa Mairea that showed a move from traditional designs to modernism (Filler, 2010).

In conclusion, the period between 1928 and 1939 marked a period that Alvar Aalto clearly brought out his value and passion for modernism. The importance of the interior and exterior was also brought out in his buildings, such as the Villa building. Nevertheless, Aalto did not forget that tradition was an essential part of the society. He included aspects of tradition and culture by including features, such as the fireplace in his buildings.

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