chapter  11
Genius As Eros
ByLian Chikako Chang
Pages 16

Alvar Aalto's production was a symbiotic extension of Finnish environmental culture in every conceivable sense, encompassing not only his lifelong allusion to National Romanticism but also his recognition of the fact that the origin of Finnish vernacular culture was ultimately grounded in a perennial interface between wood, water and rock. Among the facts brought to light by Goran Schlidt's biography of Aalto of 1984 is the strong bond that obtained between Aalto and Gregor Paulsson. Aalto's move into brick as the primary material came with the brick-faced pulp mill that he designed for Mairea Ahlstrom; a vast industrial plant built on a backwoods site in Sunila in 1938. That Aalto valued brickwork very highly is evident from all the industrial work that he built during 1949 and from the praise that he accorded to the masons who built Saynatsalo.