The Cultivated Landscape of Alvar Aalto
25.9.2019–12.4.2020,Museum of Finnish Architecture

The MFA’s main autumn exhibition connects Alvar Aalto’s architecture with the surrounding landscape. It presents a selection of landscapes that inspired Aalto, yielding insights into how he incorporated the scenery as part of his architectural designs. Aalto gradually developed his own unique vocabulary of design by combining various ideas about space and landscapes. He studied Nordic gardens and the natural scenery of central Finland, yet he was equally enchanted by Mediterranean architectural heritage, Japanese spatial philosophy, and the gardens of Islamic countries. He felt that architecture should be like a final touch added to an otherwise finished picture. Although he seldom had the chance to achieve his ideal due to practical constraints, his ideal of the “refined landscape” finds expression in projects such as the main building of the University of Technology, which fluidly blends Finnish clay and granite with the tree-lined avenue already existing on the site. The exhibition is a co-production between the Museum of Finnish Architecture and the Alvar Aalto Foundation. The exhibition concept is by Professor Emeritus Tom Simons and is scripted by curator Teija Isohauta.
Image: Alvar Aalto: Sunila, Kotka. Simo Rista / Museum of Finnish Architecture