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  4. Finland
  5. Alvar Aalto
  6. 1953
  7. AD Classics: Muuratsalo Experimental House / Alvar Aalto

AD Classics: Muuratsalo Experimental House / Alvar Aalto

AD Classics: Muuratsalo Experimental House / Alvar Aalto
AD Classics: Muuratsalo Experimental House / Alvar Aalto, © Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

© Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh +20

From the architect. Soon after the passing of his wife in 1949, Alto began the design for a summer getaway for himself on the western shore of island Muuratsalo, Finland. Through the process of designing the house, it became an experimental study of materiality, architecture construction and philosophies.

© Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

The most basic understanding of the house is it's courtyard scheme which focuses inwards on the space while also directing careful views of the nearby Lake Paijanne. The walls of this courtyard reflect the very nature of the experimental home, as there are more than fifty different types of bricks which are arranged in various patterns. This allowed Aalto to test the aesthetics of different arrangements while also monitoring how they reacted in the rough climate.

© Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

Testing concepts like foundation systems, free-form brick construction, and passive solar heating, Aalto was comfortable exploring materiality because he only used the residence part time. The interior of the house holds a raised loft area which was to function as a painting studio. This is supported by large wooden beams which hold the space in tension.

© Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

Like all of Aalto's architecture, the surrounding landscape measuring 53650 square meters plays a critical role in the experience of the architecture. Boulders and stones which are covered with moss, bilberry and lingonberry bushes add a beautiful contrast to the brick and white colors of the house. A fire pit digs into the center of the courtyard, becoming a central gathering space. A feeling of ancient ruins is prevalent with the whitewashed brick walls that rise from the landscape on the hill. Adding to this ancient feel, vines wrap and stretch across the surfaces of the dwelling which reveals its age.

© Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

Besides the residence, the grounds of the experimental house also contain a sauna as well as Aalto's boat and it's enclosure. The boat, named "Nemo Propheta In Patria" was designed by Aalto in 1954. A wooden screen structure offers protection to the boat, which was designed as an entry to a 1996 competition, won by two Denmark students.

© Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh
Cite: Megan Sveiven. "AD Classics: Muuratsalo Experimental House / Alvar Aalto" 07 Mar 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/214209/ad-classics-muuratsalo-experimental-house-alvar-aalto/>
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44 Comments

julio ramirez bruna · February 06, 2013

such an amazing architect. One of his best work ever... masterpiece

Jerid L · November 29, 2012

Aalto is known for designing his buildings in accordance with the particular needs of people by addressing specific needs. The Experimental House in Muuratsalo does not address any one specific need of an individual. When Aalto conducted these experiments - it was in manner that resembles an art form; this freedom from scrutiny in 1953 has added to the Finnish culture and there sophisticated understanding of what architecture can be with the freedom to design and build a project.

Holly Giermann · November 27, 2012

The way this building utilizes implied space works well at highlighting the scenic view of the hilly landscape, as the spaces within the heavy brick wall imply enclosure and extend an invitation. Aalto's varied use of materials also speaks to the landscape, as he highlighted the windows (and the views they hold) with bright wood against the white walls. Through material variance and attention to detail (i.e. the brick mosaic wall), Aalto effectively created a space that awakens visitors' senses and inspires exploration.

Lucia · April 05, 2012

Very pretty and original!

Kristina · March 14, 2012

AD Classics: Muuratsalo Experimental House / Alvar Aalto | ArchDaily http://t.co/EnFxwUCA via @archdaily

Lise Vabø · March 14, 2012

#gottolove Alvar Aalto&#39s experimental use of brick in his summerhouse http://t.co/FU4NJZh3 #architecture #classic

Strang Architecture · March 14, 2012

Aalto&#39s Experimental House #strangfavorites http://t.co/MaJc4Tz9

AllAboutDoor&Windows · March 13, 2012

Courtyard of house uses 50 different types of bricks in LOTS of patterns; Also can&#39t beat those views in Finland: http://t.co/NUuOTxRi

heath west · March 13, 2012

Classic: Muuratsalo Experimental House by Alvar Aalto http://t.co/S6XsbOeA

NDM · March 13, 2012

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DerMarkus · March 13, 2012

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Antje pasinga.com · March 13, 2012

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Michael DeCow · March 11, 2012

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Equity Modern · March 11, 2012

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Mughsin · March 10, 2012

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Charlie Bruzzese · March 10, 2012

too bad there're not any sections or plans

Suiteurbana · March 09, 2012

Muuratsalo Experimental House http://t.co/5fjZ6HW7 Convierte tu casa en un laboratorio de arquitectura

Nicholas Patten · March 09, 2012

Muuratsalo Experimental House. http://t.co/ksNvW3lX

[baragaño] · March 09, 2012

[clásicos de viernes] Siempre nos quedará Muratsalo ... http://t.co/qfOeoe7i

Iztok Hvala · March 09, 2012

Razlog za obisk Finske... http://t.co/6CDHwibz #architecture

Aki Puustinen · March 09, 2012

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Dennis Moss Jnr · March 09, 2012

not his best work

Travel Writer · March 09, 2012

RT| AD Classics: Muuratsalo Experimental House / Alvar Aalto: © Nico Saieh
Soon after the passing of ... http://t.co/zFa8crDS @archdaily

CAPUY · March 09, 2012

&#39Alvar Aalto‘s Experimental House&#39 su refugio material, filosofal y arquitectónico en la isla Muuratsalo, Finlandia http://t.co/q9W1rYp4

Mark Gardner · March 09, 2012

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simon maurice · March 09, 2012

aalto for breakfast. http://t.co/AxEfeB7j via @archdaily

Jarodrigo · March 09, 2012

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hyde_architects · March 09, 2012

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Michael Herman · March 09, 2012

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carlos azevedo · March 09, 2012

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dr · March 08, 2012

master of architecture

Aga · March 08, 2012

very stunning house

godryk · March 08, 2012

One of my personal favorites! It's amazing to see how these guys were doing stuff 60 years ago that is still relevant. For example, I'm sure recent Pritzker winner, Wang Shu, has studied this house and its amazing brick façade.

Julio Touza · March 08, 2012

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Ecole C · March 08, 2012

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linksteel · March 08, 2012

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Erik Joya · March 08, 2012

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Archibuilt 2010 · March 08, 2012

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© Nico Saieh

AD经典: Muuratsalo 实验住宅 / Alvar Aalto