Alvar Aalto, Finnish Pavilion, Biennale Venice, Venice, Italy, 1956

Alvar Aalto, Finnish Pavilion, Biennale Venice, Venice, Italy, 1956

Alvar Aalto Finnish Pavilion, Biennale Venice, Italy, 1956

In 1937 Alvar Aalto won the competition for the construction of a pavilion at the New York exposition.

The Finnish Pavilion is located inside a pre-existing box space of poor quality, which Alvar Aalto was able to completely reinterpret inside with the introduction of a corrugated wall divided into four theme areas dedicated: to the country, to the population, to the work, artisanal and industrial products, represented with blow-ups.

On the ground floor there are mainly the service rooms and various exhibits of Finnish production, while the upper floor houses the exhibition area and the restaurant area. The forms and symbols of the work are linked to the Finnish landscape. Rational considerations of continental matrix and condensation compositional genius are mixed with some skill in the use of materials and technology, a large capacity in the structural field and above all great communicative strength. Therefore, every object present in the pavilion becomes itself an exhibition, whether it be a piece of furniture, a sculpture or a structural element.

The slightly looming disposition on the observer, the presence of strips with a rectangular section, the accentuated undulation of the surfaces invite the eye to the reading of the images.

The presence of such complex panels, in addition to the communicative power of the pavilion, also highlights the great skill in use of materials and technology. The display panels, in fact, rest on a structure composed mainly of beams and steel rods anchored to the wall. Alcules of the most significant parts of the pavilion, such as the flooring, wall coverings and display panels themselves are made of wood from Finland.




Alvar Aalto was a Finnish architect and designer. His work includes architecture, furniture, textiles and glassware, as well as sculptures and paintings: the “branches of the tree whose trunk is architecture.”































Commentaries and critics of the pavilion:

Analysis of the pavilion, and pictures:


Randy Tiomo
Valentin Sébé
Lore Hoppenbrouwers
Žofia Uhrínová