Aalto’s Villa Mairea in Finland

Aalto's Villa Mairea in Noormarkku, Finland

Alvar Aalto’s Villa Mairea in Noormarkku, Finland, built between 1937 and 1939 as a rural retreat, is considered one of the greatest houses of the 20th century. Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, who curated a major retrospective of Aalto’s work at the Barbican in London in 2007, says photographs give no real sense of Aalto’s buildings. But short of flying to Finland, here are Flickr photos by 08 ROTCH simoneauFrans Drewniak (drz image), Siren Fay, Andrew Paul Carr, bttgcm, Ashley Wendell, David Gross and Ettubrutae, all by permission. For further reading on this amazing house, there’s an excellent article on Aalto and Ban’s curation of his work at designbuild or look at Phaidon’s Villa Mairea Aid. The house shows evidence of Aalto’s various interests in Japanese design, in sustainable architecture, and in simple, natural materials used in an experimental way. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater was also an influence, and you can see that here, but while I appreciate Fallingwater, I would rather live in Villa Mairea.


Villa Mairea - Aalto

Villa Mairea IX / Alvar Aalto



villa mairea by ashley wendell



Villa Mairea - Aalto

Villa Mairea - Aalto

Click below for more photos.


Villa Mairea - Aalto




Villa Mairea


villa mairea



9 comments on "Aalto’s Villa Mairea in Finland"

  1. I visited Villa Mairea yesterday. It was so beautiful that it was breathtaking!
    Everything was so well planned, fantastic materials were used and the light came beautifully trough the large windows. It is easy to see now, from where my grandmother had her inspiration to decorate her own (much smaller) house in Heinola.

  2. Hannah, thank you for this report! It confirms what I thought, but photographs never give a real impression of architecture. Do you have photographs of your grandmother’s house?

    1. Thanks! I removed that photo. It’s odd, I’d wondered about that just lately, as I’d never seen it any Villa Mairea book including the one I just bought. Much appreciated.

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