The design was influenced by … The flat roof of the dining room is extended to form a covered terrace, which connects with the irregular roof of the small timber sauna. The dining room window looks out over the inner courtyard and the door in the rear wall opens onto the covered way leading to the sauna. The main stair arrives in an intimate upper hall, with its own fireplace placed directly above the one below. Who better to select and edit the writings of Aalto than G"oran Schildt, his long-time friend and the author of the three-volume study of Aalto's life and work, Alvar Aalto: The Early Years (CH, Feb'85); Alvar Aalto: The Decisive Years (1986); and Alvar Aalto: The Mature Years (CH, Oct'91), as well as Alvar Aalto: The Complete Catalogue of Architecture, Design and Art (1994). A few steps lead up from the entrance hall to the living room, whence a staircase bordered by irregularly composed wooden poles leads up to the upper floor. It also featured prominently in the second-prize-winning entry for the Finnish Pavilion at the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne (Paris World Fair of 1937), named ‘Tsit Tsit Pum’. Alvar Aallon museo­suun­ni­telmat. The free forms of nature were seen as symbols of human freedom, and as early as 1926 Aalto remarked that the ‘curving, living, unpredictable line which runs in dimensions unknown to mathematics, is for me the incarnation of everything that forms a contrast in the modern world between brutal mechanicalness and religious beauty in life. The angle of the low wall is set from the corner of the white-plastered fireplace diagonally opposite, which becomes the natural centre of attention as one ascends the step into the living room. Over the course of the decades, Aalto designed several private houses for his personal friends. Introduction. Villa Mairea is a villa, guest-house, and rural retreat designed and built by the Finnish modernist architect Alvar Aalto for Harry and Maire Gullichsen in Noormarkku, Finland. Photo: Gustaf Welin, Alvar Aalto Museum, Main entrance facade. The lawn and the swimming pool are situated in the angle of the L, with a variety of rooms overlooking them. Although this geometry contributes to the formal discipline which underpins the episodic spatial composition, and is emblematic of an ‘ideal’ house, it is only in the dining room that one can directly sense the underlying order. In contrast to these softening devices, the main facade has a more rigid, formal mood, and even possesses a canopy restated in a garden pergola vocabulary of bindings, poles and slats. Such was Aalto's enthusiasm for the design, Schildt tells us, that he tried to persuade the Gullichsens to build their home over a stream on Ahlström land a few miles out of Noormarkku. A young Swiss student working in his office at the time recalls that he used to scold the model like a naughty dog, explaining to her that 'those people don't need so many rooms'. In later sketches, the free-form basement appears as an upper-floor studio with a serpentine wall sunk into a one-and-half storey entrance hall, forming a drop-ceiling around the fireplace. Maire and Hahl had the idea of founding an avant-garde art gallery in Helsinki to act as a focus of progressive culture, and in due course this became ‘ARTEK’, now world-famous as manufacturers and distributors of Aalto's furniture and glassware. The Villa Mairea Alvar Aalto designed the Villa Mairea ( Noormarkku) for his friends, Maire and Harry Gullichsen, which known as a wealthy couple. 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