Functional lighting


The great master of functionalism Alvar Aalto is famous for his architecture and furniture. But a new exhibition in the Grand-Hornu Art Centre in Belgium is evidence that he was also an amazing lighting designer.

Few people have changed our approach to architecture as Alvar Aalto has. His functional design still arouses admiration today. From the 1920s and onwards he designed at an amazing rate houses, public buildings and furniture that have become iconic for their time. But his large number of amazing lights is a less well known side to Aalto. Yet he has made hundreds and these are the main focus of the Lightings exhibition, and are on display all spring in Belgium.
   The exhibition consists of two parts, where the first one is an installation that triggers the imagination - a wooden bridge over water where the lights reflect beautifully. The idea is that the resulting contrasts and reflections will remind us of nature which was Aalto's primary source of inspiration. Here we can see Beehive, Angel Wing and Hand Grenade, as well as many other light fittings. Dramatic names from a dramatic era.
   The second part of the exhibition displays photographs of architecture the lights were designed for. Here we set out along a winding path between libraries and meeting rooms, healthcare centres and council houses. The level of productivity is astounding. Visit the exhibition and find amazing inspiration for your own workplace.