Aino + Alvar Aalto Book Launch in New York

In New York, on Thursday the 28th September, we celebrated the launch of Heikki Aalto-Alanen’s book Aino + Alvar Aalto – A Life Together, beautifully published by Phaidon! Originally published in Finland by Otava in 2021, the English language edition is now available throughout the world.

Art, architecture and design professionals as well as Aalto enthusiasts were gathered at the Finnish Consul General’s residence to learn more about the iconic architects Aino and Alvar Aalto and their influential partnership. Phaidon’s edition is a captivating visual biography, written by the Aaltos’ grandson Heikki Aalto-Alanen, translated by David Hackston, and including a rich collection of archival materials and offering an intimate look at Aino and Alvar Aalto’s lives, work, and enduring legacy. A true love story!

Warmest thanks to Consul General Jarmo Sareva and his excellent team for hosting the book launch event in collaboration with Phaidon and Elina Ahlback Literary Agency. Thank you FILI – Finnish Literature Exchange for kindly supporting the event. Congratulations, Heikki Aalto-Alanen and Phaidon!

We are delighted to share a feature “The Very Modern Love Story of Mid-Century Design Duo Alvar and Aino Aalto” by Carol Kino published in 1stDibs (Reach: 4.2M).

Reviews for the Phaidon edition of AINO + ALVAR AALTO: A Life Together:

This characteristically elegant Phaidon publication, lush with images, is remarkably personal … A beautiful and important contribution to architecture and design history.”
– Booklist, starred review

This resonant monograph makes one wonder what else [Alvar] and Aino might have accomplished together had she lived into old age.”
– 1stDibs

Unique … Such an intimate level of access is possible thanks to the fact that the author is a grandson and has done much to preserve the designers’ legacy.”
– Interior Design

“Aino + Alvar Aalto is a celebration [that] honor[s] their work and the love that inspired their creative projects, offering insights into their impressive contributions to art and design.”
– Designboom

A poignant glimpse into [Aino and Alvar Aalto’s] deep bond.”
– Metropolis

Download the materials for THE STORY OF AINO AND ALVAR AALTO here!

Aino + Alvar Aalto Phaidon editions at the Finnish Consulate.

The Story of Aino and Alvar Aalto

Heikki Aalto-Alanen

The love story of the world-famous, pioneering design couple Aino and Alvar Aalto, written by the Aaltos’ grandson

Alvar and Aino Aalto are internationally celebrated for their architecture, furniture, glassware, and other interior design, but their personal lives have been relatively unknown – until now. This book, written by the Aaltos’ grandson, stands apart from countless other works on the Aalto’s lives and careers. It contains photos, sketches, and personal letters between Aino and Alvar, beautifully illustrating how inseparable this couple was both in work and love, and bringing a deeply human element to their story.

Countless books have been written about Alvar Aalto’s architecture and other works. Recently, Aino Marsio-Aalto has also received the recognition she deserves in her own right as well as in her role as the partner of Alvar Aalto in his rise as one of the leading architects of the 20th century,” says Heikki Aalto-Alanen. “The voice in this book is personal. I want to tell the story of Aino’s and Alvar’s unique partnership, relationship, and their joint life work from the perspective of a family member. I also want their own voices to be heard.

In addition to the photographs from the family archive, the book is illustrated with Aino’s and Alvar’s drawings of each other and of their children, along with architectural drawings and photographs.

Otava, 2021, 462 pp.

English edition

FINLAND: Otava (orig.)
ESTONIA: Postimees
FRANCE: Phaidon Press
HUNGARY: Európa Könyvkiadó
ITALY: Adriano Salani Editore
JAPAN: Soshisha
WORLD ENGLISH: Phaidon Press

About author

Heikki Aalto-Alanen

Heikki Aalto-Alanen is the grandson of architects Aino and Alvar Aalto, who has previously served as vice chairman of the Alvar Aalto Foundation, been a member of Artek’s Board of Directors, member of the Alvar Aalto Academy Board, and held other positions maintaining Aino and Alvar Aalto’s artistic work and heritage. Today he is serving as the chairman of the Paimio Sanatorium Foundation, established in 2020 to preserve Aino and Alvar Aalto's early masterpiece. He is also the Chairman of the Board of Alvar and Aino Aalto Estate Ltd. Heikki Aalto-Alanen is a lawyer by profession and has worked in the Nordic financial market.

His book tells the story of Aino and Alvar Aalto, depicted through their previously unpublished correspondence from 1921-1949, photographs and drawings.


2021, General Nonfiction, Memories & Biographies

The Story of Aino and Alvar Aalto

Heikki Aalto-Alanen