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 simoneau, Frans 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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Tags: Alvar Aalto, architect, architecture, Berber rug, biomorphic, carpet, ceiling, chairs, columns, curved, environment, Finland, Finnish, fireplace, green roof, house, Japanese architecture, Japanese design, Noormarkku, sail, sculptural, Shigeru Ban, soft modernism, sustainable, Villa Mairea, warm modernism, white, wood, wooden