Aalto’s Villa Mairea in Finland

Aalto's Villa Mairea in Noormarkku, Finland

Alvar Aalto’s Villa Mairea in Noormarkku, Finland, built between 1937 and 1939 as a rural retreat, is considered one of the greatest houses of the 20th century. Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, who curated a major retrospective of Aalto’s work at the Barbican in London in 2007, says photographs give no real sense of Aalto’s buildings. But short of flying to Finland, here are Flickr photos by 08 ROTCH simoneauFrans Drewniak (drz image), Siren Fay, Andrew Paul Carr, bttgcm, Ashley Wendell, David Gross and Ettubrutae, all by permission. For further reading on this amazing house, there’s an excellent article on Aalto and Ban’s curation of his work at designbuild or look at Phaidon’s Villa Mairea Aid. The house shows evidence of Aalto’s various interests in Japanese design, in sustainable architecture, and in simple, natural materials used in an experimental way. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater was also an influence, and you can see that here, but while I appreciate Fallingwater, I would rather live in Villa Mairea.

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Villa Mairea - Aalto

Villa Mairea IX / Alvar Aalto

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villa mairea by ashley wendell

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Villa Mairea - Aalto

Villa Mairea - Aalto

Click below for more photos.

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Villa Mairea - Aalto

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Villa Mairea

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8 Responses to “Aalto’s Villa Mairea in Finland”

  1. John Hopper Says:

    I would be more than happy to pack my bags tonight and move in tomorrow morning. What a breathtakingly beautiful house, both inside and out, always a difficult feat.

  2. admin Says:

    It’s easy to see why so many have fixated on this house…

  3. i need a guide Says:

    great post!
    love your blog.

  4. hannah Says:

    I visited Villa Mairea yesterday. It was so beautiful that it was breathtaking!
    Everything was so well planned, fantastic materials were used and the light came beautifully trough the large windows. It is easy to see now, from where my grandmother had her inspiration to decorate her own (much smaller) house in Heinola.

  5. LB Says:

    Hannah, thank you for this report! It confirms what I thought, but photographs never give a real impression of architecture. Do you have photographs of your grandmother’s house?

  6. Agnieszka Says:

    One photo is not from Villa Mairea, it is from Villa Kokkonen (with wavy fireplace and fabric with printed eagle). Please correct that.

  7. LB Says:

    Thanks! I removed that photo. It’s odd, I’d wondered about that just lately, as I’d never seen it any Villa Mairea book including the one I just bought. Much appreciated.

  8. sab Says:

    what is the material that he use at the main entrance? I mean as the wall of main entrance?
    thanks

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