Alvar Aalto – The Mark of the Hand provides an insider’s view towards Aalto’s practice. The book, edited by Aalto scholars Harry Charrington and Venzio Nava, is a collection of conversations with Aalto’s collaborators: from project architects to structural engineers and furniture makers. Alvar Aalto (1898–1976) can be placed among both the great masters and the idiosyncratic exceptions of modern architecture – depending on the viewpoint. His prolific career nevertheless deserves re-interpretations along with our increasing knowledge of his architecture and an understanding of the political and social context of Modernist historiography.
Aalto spoke of receiving ‘impulses’, rather than being passively influenced; questioning, playing with, and evolving, concepts through the visceral spark and nuance of conversation rather than trusting in any received theory. Just as in his dealings with clients, Aalto’s perceived charm, which had an almost legendary status both within and beyond the atelier, was an important part of this, and cannot be overvalued in such a public architect.
– Harry Charrington (ed.) in “Alvar Aalto – The Mark of the Hand”, p. 74.
We are proud to carry this important title which has been published by Rakennustieto Publishing in 2011. For further information, read professor Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen’s review on Architectural Histories, or the book review on ArchDaily.