Aalto Alvar (3.2.1898, Kuortane - 11.5.1976,Helsinki). Hugo Alvar Henrik Aalto established an architectural office in Jyväskylä in 1923. The office moved to Turku in 1927 and to Helsinki in 1933. In 1955 he was granted membership in the Finnish Academy and held its presidency in 1963 – 1968. From 1946 to 1948 he was visiting professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was awarded a considerable amount of honours and prizes around the world. Aalto made numerous journeys to Europe and beyond. His best loved destination was Italy. He had a remarkable contribution in the design of modern pieces of furniture, light fixtures and interiors, channeled through the Artek company established in 1935. The entire career of Alvar Aalto reflects his zeal to perform each task with an open mind, always creating something new. Aalto gained growing international fame with his functionalist designs, and he moved to Helsinki with his family in 1933. Aalto designed remarkable private houses – his own home in Helsinki (1936) and te Villa Mairea in Noormarkku (1939). These buildings reveal his desire to break the strict rules of modernist architecture and realise his own vision of harmony between man, nature and architecture. Alvar Aalto's architecture has been characterized as both Finnish and international. His large production can be seen to reflect inspiration from domestic nature and tradition but also from the long history of architecture. What this great creative talent did was combine these into a highly original synthesis.
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Josef Hoffmann (December 15, 1870 Pirnitz, Moravia, now Brtnice, Czech Republic – May 7, 1956), was an Austrian architect and designer of consumer goods. He played a major part in the shaping of the aesthetic perception and aesthetic understanding of the 20th century. From 1887, Hoffmann attended the technical college in Brno, where he studied the methods of classical architecture. After his practical year in Würzburg as a student of architecture, Hoffmann studied from 1892 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, built by Theophil Freiherr von Hansen. In 1899 Hoffmann was appointed as a professor at the Viennese School of Applied Arts(Kunstgewerbeschule) and commissioned for the interior-design at the World Fair in Paris in 1900. Starting from the beginning of the 20th century a basic change in his style can be noticed. With the fortune of the young and art loving industrialist Fritz Wärndorfer and with the enthusiasm and creative power of Kolo Moser and Josef Hoffmann the Wiener Werkstätte was founded in May 1903 — the productive community of artists and craftsmen who was meant to impress the life of Hoffmann deeply as well as that of the whole Viennese art scene. The Wiener Werkstätte created pieces of arts, in a very distinctive style: the Wiener Werkstätte Style. The first big order for Josef Hoffmann and the Wiener Werkstätte, the building of the Sanatorium Purkersdorf (1904) including its interior design, came about by the acquaintance of the building contractor with the art critic Berta Zuckerkandl. The Sanatorium was designed for a circle of well-off patients. Dedicated to the highest levels of comfort and luxury, in its construction Hoffmann made use of the most modern available techniques — reinforced concrete. His original plan showed that he was inclined to take even more radical advantage of new construction techniques than in practice were actually possible. Decoration on the building was used sparingly. Before World War I the works of Josef Hoffmann shortly reveal an individual approach to classicism and ideally reflect the need of representation of a social class, whose days were already counted due to political circumstances. The Villa Skywa-Primavesi was Hoffmann's last great performance before the war, whose outbreak put an end to private enterprises for a number of years After 1919, Josef Hoffmann was very ill for many years. He even had to pass on the management of his studio to Oswald Haertl for some time. But Hoffmann applied himself to the creation of new forms till his death.
A perfectly coherent composition. A brilliant combination of practicality, productive economy and elegance. The famous Siebenkugelstuhl is a true symbol of modern furniture. The curved beech technique means that the chair back and back legs are formed from a single piece of wood. The spheres serve two purposes: they represent a pure, formal, decorative symbol and, at the same time, a structural union between the elements, making for an innovative assembly. This is a timeless design that was originally presented in 1908 at the Wiener Kunstschau by the Viennese master and reintroduced in a prestigious new edition by Gebrüder Thonet Vienna. A part from the classic natural and whitened beech wood, light and dark walnut, light and dark cherry wood, wengé and anthracite finishes, the Siebenkugelstuhl is also available in yellow, red, blue and orange painted versions.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Eero Aarnio (born 1932), is a Finnish interior designer, well known for his innovative furniture designs in the 1960s, notably his plastic and fiberglass chairs.Aarnio studied at the Institute of Industrial Arts in Helsinki, and started his own office in 1962. The following year he introduced his Ball Chair, a hollow sphere on a stand, open on one side to allow a person to sit within. Aarnio's designs were an important aspect of 1960s popular culture, and could often be seen as part of sets in period science-fiction films. Because his designs used very simple geometric forms, they were ideal for such productions. Aarnio is still active in creating new designs and, while he has also worked with more traditional materials like wood and steel during his long career, still mainly draws products that follow his distinct style of playful shapes and colors only manufacturable in plastic. Many of Aarnio's works are included in the world's most prestigious museums, including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the MoMA in New York.