House of the Day: Experimental House by Alvar Aalto

This iconic property, built in Muuratsalo, Finland, in 1953, was designed by Alvar Aalto for use as a summer house following the death of his wife in 1949.

As the design process developed, the house became the site of a vast experimental study for Aalto, into ideas around materiality and construction processes. The property is built around a courtyard scheme, focusing simultaneously on the inward space created and on the carefully-directed external views of the adjacent Lake Paijanne.

The walls of the property are created from more than fifty different types of bricks, arranged into different areas and patterns. The surface of the house became a testing ground not only for the different aesthetics of the brick arrangements, but also for how the materials reacted to weathering in the rough climate.