3. Alvar Aalto
Alvar Aalto (1898-1976) was a famous Finnish designer and architect working in textiles, furniture, and glassware. Unlike many architects, Alvar’s style evolved rapidly over the years from Nordic Classicism during his early career to international modernism to more organic modernism in his later life. His shift to modernism may be attributed to his close association with the likes of Le Corbusier and Lazlo Mahoy-Nagy. Aalto is also famous for his control over all the aspects of a design project. He designed the building and he created the textiles, furnishing, and furniture alongside his wife, architect and designer Aino Aalto. Aalto received global recognition after his successful Finnish Pavilion at the 1939 World Fair. Frank Lloyd Wright described this work as “a work of genius.” In the whole of his active career, Aalto completed a host of works from individual paintings to civic planning projects. In the process, he designed more than 500 buildings which included Finlandia Hall of Fame as well as Paimio Sanatorium. He won the AIA Medal for architecture in 1963. The Alvar Aalto Medal was established in 1967 by the Museum of Finnish Architecture to cement Aalto’s legacy as an influential designer.