Alvar Aalto at the Paris World Exhibition in 1937

February 13, 2023

Alvar Aalto at the Paris World Exhibition in 1937

The World Exhibition in Paris in 1937 became the launch of the Scandinavian modernism. The Swedish designers G.A. Berg and Bruno Mathsson were among the exhibitors. But the Finnish architect Alvar Aalto (1898–1976) was the one who got the most attention. In the competition for the design of the Finnish pavilion, Alvar Aalto participated with two design proposals and his wife Aino Aalto with one. 

The competition was won by Alvar, who was commissioned to design the pavilion. This became his first project outside the Nordic countries. The pavilion attracted a lot of attention and the new original Finnish architecture was praised. The significance became very great for Aalto when he got the chance to expose his architecture and design to an international audience.

Aalto’s tea trolley below, Model 901 designed in 1936, was the predecessor of his famous Model 900 which was designed especially to the Finnish pavilion at the Paris exhibition. Both tea trolleys are still in production by the company Artek.

Designer of the month
Hans J. Wegner

Danish furniture designer Hans J. Wegner created over 500 pieces of furniture and was instrumental in the spread of Scandinavian design as an international concept. the Peacock Chair and the Ox Chair are two of Wegner’s most well-known pieces.

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