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.
University of Technology