Alvar Aalto in Germany

Drawn Modernity
Christinenstrasse 18a, 10119 Berlin
Mon–Fri 2–7 pm, Sat 1–5 pm

The exhibition Alvar Aalto in Germany: Drawn Modernism at the Museum of Architectural Drawing, in collaboration with the Alvar Aalto Foundation, presents over 70 works by the renowned Finnish architects Alvar Aalto (1898-1976) and Elissa Aalto (1922-1994) and their architectural practice.

With original drawings from 14 realised and unrealised projects by the firm in Germany, the exhibition spans the period from the 1950s, when Alvar Aalto was invited to participate in the (re)construction efforts after the Second World War, to the 1980s, when Elissa Aalto boldly completed several major projects that had remained unfinished after her husband's death in 1976. The six projects actually built consist of three pairs: two churches each, two residential buildings and two cultural buildings. The eight unrealised designs include large public building projects - town halls, city centres, development plans as well as commercial office buildings.

The drawings show that for the members of Studio Aalto, paper was an indispensable foundation that kept the creative process going. They are therefore beautiful without being self-indulgent: The visual appeal is a by-product rather than the goal of the design process. Above all, the first sketches for the respective projects illustrate how dissolute, collaborative and spontaneous drawing was in the studio. As representational traces of thought, they are simply and comprehensively honest and dense. A calm counterpoint to the early untamed sketches are the carefully elaborated working drawings, which bear witness to the maturation of intuitive, agitated ideas into filigree designs.

Opening: September 22, 2023, 7 p.m.

Speakers: Ommi Lindh, Sofia Singler, Mikko Fritze, Nadejda Bartels