Alvar Aalto was remarkably inventive in architecture and industrial design. Moreover, his command of technology was integrated with a humanistic style of building, and like Saarinen and Frank Lloyd Wright he sought an organic synthesis of his structures with their surroundings. Aalto's success in approaching these ideals may account for the extraordinary spread of his influence on an international scale. In this broad study of Aalto's work, Malcolm Quantrill assesses its development in terms of two powerful sources-the Finnish National Romantic movement and the Modern movement in architecture. His critique of Aalto's most significant buildings and furniture designs is complemented by photographs of many stages of their creation, from the spontaneity of initial sketches to the completed detail. Professor Quantrill first met Alvar and Elissa Aalto at Muuratsalo in June 1953, and he has been studying and photographing Aalto's buildings ever since. His book provides striking insights into the work of one of the greatest architects of the century.
Malcolm Quantrill is currently the Distinguished Professor of Architecture at Texas A&M University. His previous positions include Director of the Architectural Association, London, Dean of the Department of Environmental Design in the the Polytechnic of North London, and Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at the University of Jordan in Amman. Among his many publications is a book on another of Finland's leading architects, Reima Pietila.