I always find houses that architects build for themselves very interesting. They incorporate, invariably, the architect’s own best ideas without these being constrained by the wishes of the client. One such house, is the one the great Finnish architect Alvar Aalto built for himself and his family in Helsinki in the 1930s. Aalto, who was certainly one of the greatest architects of modern times (along with Mies; Gropius; Frank Lloyd Wright; and Le Corbusier), is probably my favourite architect (after Mies), and was not only a great architect, but also a splendid designer. The most important feature of this house, is one I have built into the houses I have designed for myself: the house faces away from the road, with the main rooms overlooking the garden. Many houses face the roads they are on. Why? What is on a road that one might want to see? Designing the house to face the garden increases one’s privacy and gives one a more pleasant view.
Another interesting feature of this house is its (second) upstairs sitting room with open fire, and yet another interesting feature is the small covered terrace, a wonderful place, surely, on which to enjoy a summer breakfast. The interior is worth a look too, considering Alvar’s skill as a designer.
I hope to visit this house sometime, probably in 2018.
From the road.
From the garden.
The upper terrace.
The upper living room.
The living room.