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Book store, Alvar Aalto’s Academic Bookshop (1969)*

Artist/Designer: Alvar Aalto

Project Location: Helsinki, Finland

Figure 1 ( Photographer: Lorella Brocklesby )
Figure 2 ( Photographer: Lorella Brocklesby )
Figure 3 ( Photographer: Lorella Brocklesby )


Primary Material(s):
Wood, Light

Retail Store

Related Website(s):

Significant Date(s):
20th Century, 1969

Additional Information:
Project Description:
This amazing shop by Alvar Aalto reflects his genius at working with natural light. Although clearly electric light is essential in this building, nevertheless the luminosity of the interior is greatly enhanced because of the amount of natural light that is concentrated into the well of the shop from the skylights. They are a daring construction.
It is not new for shops (or houses for that matter) to be lit naturally. In the 18th century skylights were essential to illuminate goods in shops but Aalto's skylight construction is very much of the 20th century. Aalto, one of Finland's most celebrated architects, also loved to work with natural woods from the Finnish forests. His lovely tea trolley, which is illustrated on the web site I have mentioned, is often on display at MOMA.

Publications/Texts in Print:
Eisenbrand, Jochen & Gadanho Pedro. Alvar Aalto: Second Nature. Weil am Rhein, Germany: Vitra Design Museum, 2014.

Pearson, Paul David. Alvar Aalto and the International Style. New York: Whitney Library of Design, 1989.

Trencher, Michael. The Alvar Aalto Guide. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1996.

Building Address:
Akateeminen Kirjakauppa (Academic Bookshop)
Keskuskatu 1 and Pohjoisesplanadi 39
00101 Helsinki

Significant Dates:
1962- Designed in competition
1966-1969- Built

Alvar aalto, modern, finland, wood, light, bookshop, Alvar Aalto Academy, books, helsinki

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