Alvar Aalto – the Art of Seeing

Savoy vase - top view, Alvar Aalto
Iconic Savoy vase by Alvar Aalto. Photo by Tijana.

Finnish design is both timely and timeless. This iconic Alvar Aalto vase was made 82 years ago! Interestingly, the design is inspired by nature and it is made in the shape of a Finnish lake. It was love at first sight for me. Unsurprisingly, this unique and abidingly contemporary form is just as fresh today as it was in 1937. 

Savoy vase with lemons
Often I put lemons instead of flowers in my Aalto vase. Photo by Tijana.

Savoy vase, with limes
Or lime. Photo by Tijana.


The worlds most prominent art museums exhibit the Aalto vase. A few notable mentions include MoMA, the Met, British Museum and many others.

Alvar Aalto was a renowned modernist, Finnish architect and designer. His work was focused on architecture, furniture, textiles and glassware as well as sculptures and paintings.

What is typical for his entire career, however, is a concern for design a total work of art; whereby he  would design not just the building, but give also a special treatments to the interiors and design furniture, lamps, and glassware.

This vase and its story changed the way I see the world. Read more here.

Savoy Vase - Alvar Aalto
Aalto vase. Image is from Iittala website.

What makes a great timeless design?