However, under Russian rule it had a significant degree of autonomy as the Grand Duchy of Finland.Finland declared independence from Russia in 1917, at the time of the Russian Revolution.
As an essentially forested region, timber has been the natural building material, while the hardness of the local stone (predominantly granite) initially made it difficult to work, and the manufacture of brick was rare before the mid-19th century."Seeing how people in the past were able to be international and unprejudiced and yet remain true to themselves, we may accept impulses from old Italy, from Spain, and from the new America with open eyes.Our Finnish forefathers are still our masters." In a 2000 review article of twentieth century Finnish architecture, Frédéric Edelmann, arts critic of the French newspaper Le Monde, suggested that Finland has more great architects of the status of Alvar Aalto in proportion to the population than any other country in the world.Finland's most significant architectural achievements are related to modern architecture, mostly because the current building stock has less than 20% that dates back to before 1955, which relates significantly to the reconstruction following World War II and the process of urbanisation which only gathered pace after the war.1249 is the date normally given for the beginning of Swedish rule over the land now known as Finland (in Finnish, Suomi), and this rule continued until 1809, after which it was ceded to Russia.The vernacular architecture of Finland is generally characterised by the predominant use of wooden construction.
The oldest known dwelling structure is the so-called kota, a goahti, hut or tent with a covering in fabric, peat, moss, or timber.
The building type remained in use throughout Finland until the 19th century, and is still in use among the Sami people in Lapland.
and while up until the modern era the architecture was strongly influenced by currents from Finland's two respective neighbouring ruling nations, Sweden and Russia, from the early 19th century onwards influences came directly from further afield; first when itinerant foreign architects took up positions in the country and then when the Finnish architect profession became established.
Also, Finnish architecture in turn has contributed significantly to several styles internationally, such as Jugendstil (or Art Nouveau), Nordic Classicism and Functionalism.
In particular, the works of the country's most noted early modernist architect Eliel Saarinen have had significant worldwide influence.
But even more renowned than Saarinen has been modernist architect Alvar Aalto, who is regarded as one of the major figures in the world history of modern architecture.