Hugo Alvar Henrik Aalto (3 February 1898 – 11 May 1976) was a famous Finnish architect and designer, who lived and worked in Jyväskylä for the major part of his life. Alvar Aalto’s work includes not only large building projects, but also furniture and glassware. His style transformed throughout the years, yet the underlying theme of Aalto’s architecture is modern living with a smart utilisation of materials and space.
Aalto was born in a small town of Kuortane. Within few years the family moved to Alajärvi, and later to Jyväskylä, Central Finland. After a short study period in Helsinki, in 1923 Alvar Aalto returned to Jyväskylä where he opened his architecture bureau. During the first years of his work Aalto designed family houses and small-scale buildings. In 1925, Aalto married Aino Marsio, who was also a famous Finnish designer, best known for her glassware items produced currently under Iittala brand.
Gaining more fame as an architect, Aalto received tenders on designing about 30 buildings in the Jyväskylä Region, and a large number of buildings abroad (USA, Estonia, Switzerland, Croatia, France, Denmark and Sweden).
Bearing the legacy of the world-renowned architect, every year Jyväskylä attracts thousands of tourists interested in architecture and design. While visiting Alvar Aalto Museum, walking through the campus area of the University of Jyväskylä, or going on a guided tour, you will learn about the work and life of the Father of the Nordic design and find out what lies in the heart of the modern Finnish design.