A Deep Organic Re-reading of Alvar Aalto’s Design Approach


  • Ari Hynynen Tampere University of Technology, School of Architecture


Organic architecture, Alvar Aalto, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Philosophy of Science


The conceptual framework of ’organic architecture’ is the most common theory used in analysing Alvar Aalto’s life’s work. Actually, it could not be considered a real theory, but a quite fuzzy concept due to its many miscellaneous interpretations. Aalto himself talked about organic architecture without never explicating properly what it means. In this respect, more research should be done. For example, Aalto’s regional plans deserve to be analysed from this point of view. Perhaps the most favourable case is the Kokemäenjoki valley regional plan, for it offers new keys for interpretation due to its emphasis on textual representation. The other key used in this study is Goethe’s philosophy of science. Many writers have noticed its resemblance to Aalto’s thinking and approach. Unfortunately the argumentation is too often superficial, although more thorough processing seems to evoke new ideas on Aalto’s design approach, as well as on organic architecture on a more general level. Surprisingly these ideas appear quite topical in our digitalizing world.


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How to Cite

Hynynen, A. (2014). A Deep Organic Re-reading of Alvar Aalto’s Design Approach. Proceedings of the Annual Architectural Research Symposium in Finland, 28–39. Retrieved from https://journal.fi/atut/article/view/45276