The Aalto House
In 1934, Aino and Alvar acquired a site in almost completely untouched surroundings at Riihitie in Munkkiniemi. The house was designed as both a family home and an office. The slender mass of the office wing is in white-painted, lightly rendered brickwork. The cladding material of the residential part is slender, dark-stained timber battens. It has a flat roof and a large south-facing terrace. Although the street elevation is severe and closed-off, it's softened by climbing plants and a slate path. There are already signs of the 'new' Aalto, the Romantic Functionalist. The plentiful use of wood as a finishing material and 4 open hearts built in brick also point to this. It anticipates the 2-year younger Villa Mairea, a luxury residence where Aalto's creativity was able to come into full bloom. But in contrast to its larger sister, the Aalto House is a cosy, intimate building for living and working, designed by two architects for themselves, using simple uncluttered materials.