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”In modern society it is at least theoretically possible for the father to be a mason, the mother a university professsor, the daughter a film star, and the son something even worse. Obviously these people have their special demands to be allowed to think and work undisturbed. The modern home must be built to meet these demands.”  Alvar Aalto, 1930.

The Alvar Aalto Museum’s main summer exhibition is showing Alvar Aalto’s production from the viewpoint of residential design. His efforts bore fruit, for instance, in the form of residential areas marked on town plans – variable single-family houses made out of standard elements, for factory workers and managers, all built beside industrial areas, many with the aid of “the bank of broad shoulders” (self-built). There were also unique artists’ homes in various parts of Finland and elsewhere.

The exhibition highlights Aino and Alvar Aalto’s progressive solutions for modern living, their furniture and interior designs, which seek to make everyday life easier and to offer decent places to live for all, regardless of social status. Examples of the various building types and residential areas on display, alongside other sites, include: Paimio tuberculosis sanatorium; the one-family houses and row houses in the Sunila Pulp Mill area of Kotka; and the terraced house in Kauttua. The connection with nature enacted through town planning was visible in the residential areas, for instance, in the shared, common back yards and spaces for communal gatherings. The aesthetic of residential living and linking the surrounding landscape to make it part of the home is perhaps at its most poetic in the private houses where the nature seen outside the windows adds to the atmosphere of the interior – with the journey from living room to garden being just a single step.

The exhibition creates a portrait of the times using original architectural drawings, furniture, photographs and magazine articles. These reflect changes in living habits throughout the decades, and ways that architecture can respond to them. The exhibition’s supporting programme includes guided tours in Finnish and English, plus enjoyable summer activities for children in the form of fun-filled architecture workshops!

Guided tours for the exhibition on Thursdays 14.6., 12.7. and 9.8. at 13 in Finnish and at 14 in English. See more: Guided tours for The Housing Problem -exhibition (pdf)

There are further new things to see and experience on the theme of residential living in the Museum’s revised permanent exhibition – Come and take a look! You’ll love it!

Read more from the press release.

The Housing Problem. Alvar Aalto´s housing architecture
Alvar Aalto Museum Gallery
Alvar Aallon katu 7, Jyväskylä, Finland
Open Tues-Sun at 11-18, July-August Tues-Sun 10-18