The pioneering arquitect women: the presence of the absence (VI) | Cristina García-Rosales

The pioneering arquitect women: the presence of the absence (V) | Cristina García-Rosales

Aino & Alvar Aalto

We spend now to a slightly later stage-1924-1949-and go away to Finland, the so called country of thousand lakes.

Aino Marsio Aalto, was a Finnish arquitecta classified in 1924 in Helsinki, companion of the architect Alvar Aalto.

Aino and Alvar Aalto. AAA. The signature of the three aes in all his projects will remain always up to the death for Aino’s cancer in 1949. Nevertheless, the discreet companion shines for his absence in the majority of the texts and in the encyclopedias. Neither it has been recognized in his just dimension, his figure has hushed up and forgotten as if one could be afraid that it was doing shade to Alvar Aalto.

If Eileen Grey was the sophistication and the glamour, Aino, might be the simplicity and the functionality.

Aino’s glasses

Endowed with innate taste, he was not accepting the mode, his own ultramodern sensibility was using, estimating the materials and natural Finnish technologies both in the manufacture of furniture and in the design of spaces and objects.

They were, she and his husband, an exceptional pair of architects who worked actively as partners for 25 years, being anticipated to his historical moment, not only in his projects but in his way of working, forming a pair out of epoch. Until she expired and he returned to marry Elsa, arquitecta also, that was limited to the architectural desires of his companion, limiting itself to drawing them.

Aino and Alvar attacked in his young woman treintena the first orders of architecture of so many importance as Paimio’s Anti-tuberculosis Sanatorium in 1929, Viipuri’s Library, with his undulating ceilings, or the Pavilion of the World Fair of Paris in 1938, the whole advance to the modernity. Together also they were involved in the design of furniture and objects that made of series and distributed by means of the signature Artek (together with his friends, the marriage Gullichsen). Signature that it they helped to throw to the international stardom.

His joint works of architecture had something of three-dimensional collage, of composition on parts, of evident complexity or of lack of generating unit, own characteristics of Alvar Aalto’s work, but also characteristics of the works realized by two different hands.

In this respect, his maximum exponent is, undoubtedly, the Villa Mairea constructed between 1937 and 1939, and in that there is demonstrated the accumulation of different ideas that are superposed, giving the most beautiful result replete with shades.

The Villa Mairea is a housing luxury placed in the clear one of the forest, not distant to the sea, he was designing for the pair Gullichsen, his multimillionaire friends with those who joined empresarialmente across the signature Artek and with that it was joining them the ideal some themselves. A housing that has turned into an emblem of the contemporary Finnish architecture. A house understood by the Aalto as an experimental laboratory.

A complex house with modern features and a vernacular or traditional exposition. Modern for the composition in different elements differentiated in plant. And traditional for the way of settling itself in the area and for many of his multiple details and constructive forms: the sheets superposed of black slate under the windows, which they intone with his frames of wood of teak or the yellow band of birch that spreads to everything long, in his top part.

Villa Mairea

Of this villa the historian Sigfried Giedion wrote:

It is like a piece of chamber music in which, only with the maximum attention, there is perceived the delicacy of his solutions and intentions. The wide windows allow the interior and exterior interpenetration of the spaces, it seems as if the forest was penetrating in the house and as if it was finding his corresponding echo in the subtle columns of wood, wrapped in ropes, which represent them.”

Alvar and Aino Alto were complementing each other since it happens with many pairs of architects. And the secret of his success was based, maybe, on a deep of integration relation between human and artistic complementary qualities. If Alvar was anxious, burning and unforseeable, Aino was constant, persevering and quiet; if he was an extrovert, mundane and great communicator, she was valuing his interior world and was operating road surface, but backstage; if he preferred stopping demolishing his fantasy and imagination and drawing “free hand”, she was practical, moderate, a skilful draughtsman and efficient professional, taking care even of the most minimal detail. “Maybe”, he writes Giedion,

“him be beneficial to a volcano, that the mass of the mountain is surrounded by the calm waters of a river …”

There is no doubt that Aino’s practical mind was combining – with singular mastery – with Alvar’s intuitive and spontaneous imagination. Neither but is doubt that, while he has been internationally recognized, she has been ninguneada and silenced.

Cristina García-Rosales. Architect

Madrid. April 2014

The pioneering arquitect women: the presence of the absence (VII) | Cristina García-Rosales

Soy arquitecta (1980). Mis proyectos son muy diversos. En 1995 fundo el grupo La Mujer Construye, en el que ocupo la Presidencia. 

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