Alvar Aalto First Industrial Building Turned into Research Center

Alvar Aalto is known in the mid-century modern community for his famous L-leg system commonly found in some of the most desired modern designs at the time of its creation and even today. He was also one of the pioneers of bentwood design in Finland. Although a fantastic furniture designer, he was also an engineer and architect.

Factum Foundation :: AALTOSIILO: Factum Foundation and Skene Catling de la  Peña

His very first industrial building has recently been turned into a new research center in Northern Finland. The building is a concrete silo marked with a distinct serrated top, reminiscent of a classic cathedral design. In August 2020, the Alvar Aalto industrial building was purchased by Factum Foundation and Skene Catling de la Pena.

It is being transformed into the “AALTOSIILO for Digital Preservation.” The center focuses on the study of cultural heritage and impact through high-res recoding and re-materialization techniques. It combines industrial heritage, environmental impact and development of processes into its research. The team aims to restore and reveal the importance of the architectural structure, a building once used for storing wood chips. It will also be used to establish a connection of Nordic influencers and researchers from Finland, Sweden and Norway.

Although, it has been rarely used since its closure in the 1980s, it remains a fine example of concrete architecture by one of the late greats of industrial and mid-century modern design of the 1930s to 1950s.