Modern Architectures in History
Distributed for Reaktion Books
Roger Connah's latest book, Finland, explores the culture and democratic spirit of a country whose buildings carry the indelible markings of Finland's political and physical climate. Nearly all of the country's buildings were constructed after 1917, when Finland gained its independence from Russia. The resulting architecture—often springing from hugely popular public competitions—is emphatically democratic in structure and usage. Finland's extreme northern latitudes, for their part, have given rise to buildings with an acute sensitivity to the physical environment and to the delicate interplay of light and shadow.
From museums to schools to subsidized housing developments, Connah's Finland is an important survey of the country's architecture. Fully illustrated and with detailed examinations of many of the Finnish master architects—including Alvar Aalto—it is also a valuable contribution to the studies of modern architecture and Nordic history.
"In Finland, Roger Connah assumes the architectural historian's most arduous challenge: He examines a sweeping panorama of a nation's cultural and political currents and shows how these helped shape architectural creativity. The broadly erudite Connah details the complex and often-paradoxical struggles faced by generations of architects whose designs mirrored a shifting sense of Finnish identity. . . . Nearly 200 small but sharply focused halftones invite further investigation of modern Finnish architecture, an invitation amplified by the author's lyrical prose."
"Finland is the necessary critical examination of the evolution of modernism in Finnish architecture with its essential role in shaping national identity. Connah’s systematic interweaving of the political, social, cultural, and artistic milieux transforms the narrative into an engaging journey over Finland’s twentieth-century architectural landscape and its emergence as a modern nation."