CONSTRUCTION BEGINS MONDAY ALL OBSTACLES OVERCOME AMERICA WILL HAVE BEAUTIFUL AALTO
With the publication of this book, Yale Union completes the evolution of a project that began in 2012 with an event held at the Mount Angel Abbey library in St. Benedict, Oregon.
This book publishes correspondence between the Finnish architect Alvar Aalto and the monks of Mount Angel Abbey in Oregon, where Aalto designed the abbey’s library building. Tracing the back story of the library, it reproduces letters, telegrams, memos, and ephemera from 1963 to the building’s completion in 1970. Rather than represent the building or its architect in monographic fashion, this book uses primary documents to chart the course of this architectural commission in order to investigate the social relations and global conditions that made the building possible. Like much architectural production the result of happenstance and good timing, Mount Angel also must be understood as the product of centuries of deliberate geopolitical maneuvering that precipitated the colonization of the land, its possession by Catholic monks, their importation of a prestigious architect in their quest for cultural capital, and the reliance on a benefactor enriched by the military industrial complex. In an effort to make sense of the layered complexities of the built environment, this book uses the archive of letters as a starting point to approach the question: Why is there a library designed by Alvar Aalto at a Benedictine monastery in rural Oregon?
Edited by Hope Svenson
Designed by Scott Ponik
Printed and bound by Gary Robbins
8 1/2 x 11 1/2 inches
Edition of 150
Available July 2021
Click HERE for a free PDF of the book