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Experimental House by Alvar Aalto

Alvar Aalto (1898-1976) was one of Europe’s most well remembered and greatest architects. He built homes, apartment buildings, churches, town halls and community buildings across Finland. The Experimental House (1953) is pretty self explanatory, it was designed and constructed by Aalto as a summer retreat on a island in Finland. A courtyard house with very controlled views of the lake around it. The courtyard itself has over 53 different type of bricks and patterning, his experimentations were done to see how they appeared in different light and also to see how they aged in this harsh environment.

Aalto was also well know for his sculptural Aalto or Savoy Vases, produced to this day by Iittala Finland. Another icon is the Aalto Stool the classic three legged solid timber stool also produced to this day by Artek. It has since been appropriated by IKEA and produced en-masse with total disregard. The original graces many Apple Stores.

He also built a timer boat for himself call the ‘Nemo Propheta in Patria’ a latin phrase that translates, no man is a prophet in his own land. Since his death the boat was left decaying in a yard until the Aalto Museum held a world wide competition in 1996 to design a boat shed on the Island near the home. This was won by two Denmark students and since constructed, i’ll look through my old files and find my submission and post it here soon.

Check out a couple more images of the courtyard below.