alvar aalto house

May 14, 2008

Last weekend we spent 3 days visiting Mr. Professor, Mrs. Professor and the very cute Baby Professor. While looking up directions to their home, I realized they live just several minutes walk both from the house and studio of Finnish design godfather Alvar Aalto. We walked past the former on one of our evening strolls, but the gods (and opening hours) conspired against a visit.

I had learnt a lot about him and became a fan after visiting this exhibition in London last year. The buildings he drew clearly belong to a particular era, but comparnig these to what was more usually being built at the time emphasizes his vision. Most impressive to me was the hospital in Paimio, where he designed not just the structure and sunning balconies, but also many details down to patient beds, ergonomic door handles, cupboards and even anti-splash sinks.

All was not lost as we did trundle past his Finlandia Hall several times on the tram to and from town. As for visiting his house proper, well, we’ll just have to force ourselves to come back!

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