As an example of 20th century Scandinavian design and architecture, it’s difficult to find a more complete and well preserved location. The building remained a family residence until 1998 and most of the original features and objects there are intact. Now the house is owned and maintained by the Alvar Aalto Foundation, and is open to the public as a museum.
Within the development of modernist architecture and design, Alvar Aalto’s approach is known for an intuitive ability to play with spatial dynamics, light and materiality. This home contains a workspace and represents the modernist ideal, where the quest for functionality has been achieved without the loss for confort. The free design of the plan and the facade, as well as the unhidden structural elements around the house, exemplifie the modernist principles in architecture, interpreted for this specific context.
Through experiments with bent wood Alvar Aalto created different models of chairs and tables. The home is furnished with designs, which represent a modernist aesthetic sensibility influenced by natural forms and phenomena. Many of these pieces are still in production by Artek, the company founded in 1935, where Aino Aalto was an influential director.
A timeless appeal lies in the simplicity of the Aalto home. The enduring modernist aesthetic and the materials that reference nature are part of a strong cultural heritage, which still informs Finnish contemporary architecture. Elements and formal solutions of this building are reinterpreted in today’s architecture and many of the Aalto designs can be found in homes and public buildings all over the world.