Richard Weston’s book about Alvar Aalto (Phaidon, 1995) falls into the intriguing transition period in the array of Aalto monographs. In the 1990s, scholars broadened their view of Aalto: the dominant view of the great Modernist master from the exotic northern woods started to portrait him also as a a talented technical problem-solver, a creative designer, and an internationally networked, influential spokesman for contemporary architecture.
Weston does a great job: the book is comprehensive, yet accessible; analytical yet perceptive. This may be due to his Finnish contacts, architects Käpy and Simo Paavilainen to whom Weston expresses his gratitude in the Acknowledgements. Simo Paavilainen’s’ long-term interest in Aalto’s architectural development, Nordic Classicism, and early 20th-century Finnish architecture has undoubtedly contributed to Weston’s broad-minded and personal reading of Aalto.
Like all great art, Aalto’s architectural achievement is inseparable from this national context, but not bound by it. His achievement confirms that such an architecture can only emerge from a profound meditation upon architectural culture, engagement with appropriate materials and technologies, and a social contract which gives meaning and value to the architect’s professional role.
— Richard Weston, p. 227.
The copy for sale is in great condition: no markings, all the pages are included. There is some minor damage on the upper edge of the back of the dust cover, and there is some minor bluish bleed on the flyleaf.