Saved events

Alvar Aalto

Through the Eyes of Shigeru Ban

Finnish architect Alvar Aalto (1898-1976), is one of the masters of modernism. In his first UK retrospective, Aalto’s work was presented through the eyes of contemporary Japanese architect Shigeru Ban

The exhibition examined the development of Aalto’s architectural style, featuring models, drawings, photographs and artefacts from 14 of his key projects, built mainly in Finland, Denmark and across Scandinavia. It also explored Aalto’s concern with the interiors of his buildings by showcasing his wide-ranging product designs. 

Aalto admired the commitment to craftsmanship and sensitivity to natural materials that he found in Japanese architecture, and 60 years later this influence came full circle in the work of Shigeru Ban. The exhibition showcased many of Ban’s key works which acknowledge a huge debt to Aalto’s organic approach to design.

This fascinating exhibition explored the themes linking these two influential architects who, despite spanning a generational and geographical divide, shared a visionary approach to architecture.

Tagged with: Art Gallery Archive

Curated by Shigeru Ban in collaboration with Juhani Pallasmaa and Tomoko Sato. Organised by Barbican Art Gallery in conjunction with the Alvar Aalto Museum, Jyväskylä. 

Associate sponsors: Visit Finland, Finlandia: Vodka of Finland. Supported by Artek, Japan Foundation, Embassy of Finland, Japanese Airlines
Media Partners: Elle Decoration, TimeOut London: First Thursdays, LATES


‘At long last, an exhibition devoted to one of Modernism's great heroes‘
Time Out
The Guardian