Alvar Aalto was a Finnish architect, designer, sculptor and painter. Born in Kuortane in 1898, he graduated in architecture from the Technical University of Helsinki. To launch his career internationally was the Sanatorium of Paimo in 1932, a building entirely designed by him and entirely furnished with furniture designed by him. In 1935 he founded the Artek furniture company in Helsinki with his wife Aino Aalto Marsio, with the aim of promoting the culture of housing. In this period he conceived the L-shaped leg, a recognizable element of his furnishings patented in 1933. From 1936, Aalto designed glass objects for the company, including the now iconic Aalto vase. In the 1950s and 1960s, Aalto received numerous honors and awards for his achievements, including the Royal Gold Medal for Architecture, awarded to him in 1957 by Queen Elizabeth II.