3 things I didn’t know about Alvar Aalto.

It is autumn break here in Finland.
This year, I traded sexy London or sexy Paris to take my girls to Jyväskylä, Finland.

We took a Spa hotel… just to make sure we don’t get bored once the 2 main streets of this city visited.
Well, day 1 had its lot of excitement as we went to visit the nationally known Alvar Aalto Museum…and there I learnt 3 things:

1 – Alvar Alto designed lamps that were manufactured by ORNO.
So, not only ORNO manufacturer lamps designed by Yki Nummi, Lisa Johansson-Pape, Heikki Turunen or Svea Winkler, it also took orders from Aalto. Here is an example from a children’s library.

2 – Alvar Alto designed lamps that were made by Taito Oy
The Paimio Sanatorium is an enigmatic work by Alvar Aalto. In 1932-33, this place was furnished with items designed by Aino and Alvar Aalto.

The little secret story is that, when the furniture were sold to auction, only few local peasants came to purchase the, now very precious, furniture. We can imagine that Aalto’s stools were used to milk cows and steel designed furniture have been scrapped for the price of raw material.

Anyway, Taito Oy is mainly linked to Paavo Tynell. Well, the fixtures of the Paimio sanatorium were designed by Alvar Aalto and manufactured by Oy Taito AB.


3 – In Finland, Alvar Aalto is part of the scenery.
In Finland, Alvar Aalto is so much part of the country and its culture, that no effort is made to highlight a landmark such as Alvar Aalto museum
Get lost, drive in front of it 3 times and don’t notice it, and once spotted…what a welcoming view!

What a depressing sight. Thankfully, the inside is cosy and well furnished 🙂

The Aalto café featuring one of my favorite Aalto lamp: the A335

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