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Over the course of the decades, Aalto designed several private houses for his personal friends. Each of the houses strongly conveys the personal relationship between the residents or family and their home. The most significant of the homes designed for friends is Villa Mairea (1938-1939). It was built for Harry and Maire Gullichsen, the director of the company A. Ahlström and his wife, in the Noormarkku ironworks area.

Designed in



Finland, Noormarkku

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Villa Mairea. Photo: Maija Holma, Alvar Aalto Museum

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Site plan. Drawing: Alvar Aalto Museum

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A covered way leading to the sauna from the main building and the swimming pool. Photo: Alvar Aalto Museum

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Ground floor plan with the sauna and swimming pool. Drawing: Alvar Aalto Museum

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Ground floor. Drawing: Alvar Aalto Museum

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Living room. Photo: Maija Holma, Alvar Aalto Museum

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Fireplace in the living room. Photo: Maija Holma, Alvar Aalto Museum

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a staircase bordered by irregularly composed wooden poles leads up to the upper floor. Photo: Maija Holma, Alvar Aalto Museum

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Part of the external wall is movable on a sliding system so that “the house can be completely opened to the garden”. Photo: Gustaf Welin, Alvar Aalto Museum

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Facade. Photo: Alvar Aalto Museum

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Main entrance facade. Photo: Mikko Merckling, Alvar Aalto Museum

Guided tours

Visits by prior appointment. Enquiries: +358 (0) 50 310 6442,


See trips and visit information on

Villa Mairea website.