Google Honors Famed Finnish Architect Alvar Aalto
The architect's designs in everything from buildings to furniture are now displayed online through a Google and Alvar Aalto Foundation partnership.The Finnish architect Alvar Aalto died in May 1976 at age 78, but the spectacular designs he left behind in architecture, furniture, glassware and even textiles remain, inspiring new generations of designers and showcasing clever and innovative products. Now more people around the world will be able to see Aalto's work virtually through a partnership between Google, the Google Cultural Institute and the Alvar Aalto Foundation in Finland, which is bringing many examples of Aalto's work online in several special exhibits. The collaborative exhibits were announced by William Echikson, head of community relations for Google in Europe, in an Aug. 25 post on the Google Europe Blog. "Alvar Aalto changed the way we see the world," wrote Echikson. "Finland's famed architect and designer not only built path-breaking buildings during his long, fruitful life, he also designed some of the 20th century's most innovative furniture, textiles and glassware. Today, we're proud to announce a partnership with the Alvar Aalto Foundation to bring much of this genius's important work online--allowing anyone, anywhere to virtually visit many of his most important buildings and learn about his design breakthroughs."
For Google, the project has special meaning, wrote Echikson. "We have built one of our two largest data centers in Finland--and the architect of our data center building was none other than Aalto," he wrote. "The Finnish master originally designed our data center in Hamina as a paper mill. The mill closed in 2007. We took over the empty building, transformed and expanded it, investing so far almost a billion euros and creating hundreds of jobs in the region, while attempting to keep intact as much as possible of the Aalto heritage."