Designers, Featured Posts

A Look Inside Riihitie House, Home of Aino & Alvar Aalto

24th January 2018

The Helsinki based Aalto residence is a living monument to the pioneering design concept conceived by the Finnish design duo.

Modernism is widely considered as one of the most important new styles or philosophies in architecture and design of the 20th century. Characterised by a strictly analytics approach to form follows function, structural innovation and the elimination of ornament, Modernism pre-Aalto seemed to have no place for nature and the natural world.

Without ever abiding to the ‘strict rules’ of the movement, Alvar Aalto was a giant of the Modernist scene. He and his wife Aino “advanced the notion that human emotion and natural forms could be used as a source of organic architecture while remaining rationally and structurally modern”.

Possibly the most obvious implementation of the Aalto’s design principles was in the design and construction of their own home. The Riihitie residence features a closed street façade with the house opening up onto a wild garden and uses natural materials to soften the formal language of the modernist construction.

Based in Helsinki, the house stands untouched today as a monument to their ideals and design prowess. There are regular tours of the house & studio available for design enthusiast tourists but if you’re not able to make it to Finland, you can have a look around Aalto’s property below.

Alvar Aalto first studio space was attached to the family home. The studio, which was made from contrasting materials to that of the living space, was decorated with furniture from Artek, the company he co-founded with Nils-Gustav Hahl, Maire Gullichsen and Aino.

Among the Artek furniture pieces chosen for the home/studio is the now iconic Artek 60 Stool. The stool, though simple in form marked a huge advance in manufacturing at the time of it’s design. The unique bend of the 60’s legs, achieved through the process of forming plywood in hot metal presses and later became a distinctive feature of the Finnish designer’s work.

Keen to explore more furniture designs by Alvar Aalto? You can shop his Artek collection online at Utility today.

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Time for more? Utility Follows Allan Torpe | Designer of the month – Eero Saarinen | Le Corbusier, 50 Years Later

Image Credit: Alvar Aalto Foundation

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