(b Kuortane, 3 Feb 1898; d Helsinki, 11 May 1976). Finnish architect
and designer. His success as an architect lay in the individual
nature of his buildings, which were always designed with their
surrounding environment in mind and with great attention to their
practical demands. He never used forms that were merely aesthetic or
conditioned by technical factors but looked to the more permanent
models of nature and natural forms. He was not anti-technology but
believed that technology could be humanized to become the servant of
human beings and the promoter of cultural values. One of his
important maxims was that architects have an absolutely clear
mission: to humanize mechanical forms.
Alvar Aalto's Villa Mairea in
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