Alvar Aalto (1898–1976) was an architect and designer, as well as a sculptor and painter. He studied architecture at the Helsinki Institute of Technology (later Helsinki University of Technology and now part of the Aalto University) from 1916 to 1921, and returned to Jyväskylä in central Finland, where he opened his first architectural office in 1923. He enjoyed an exceptionally rich and varied career, both at home in Finland and abroad. Alvar Aalto was one of the most influential architects of the Scandinavian modern movement.
His work ranges from the large scale of city planning and architecture to interior design, furniture and glassware design and painting. Aalto’s work with wood is of most importance for the development of use of wood in construction and design. He experimented with a variety of construction materials but made the most significant technical innovations using laminated materials such as birch and plywood. In the 1930s, Aalto developed a new lamination technique that made it possible to press wood into new organic shapes. The aim was to be able to use wood as a material without losing its structure and durability. In his work he was able to utilize wood extensively as a material in a variety of ways that were rich, graceful and appealing to the senses.