On a trip to Helsinki, we had to pay the Aalto house and studio a visit. Alvar Aalto was one of Finlands best-known architects and designers – and he’s still a key figure in modern architecture and design. Together with his first and second wives, Aino and Elissa Aalto, he designed buildings, as well as furniture and design objects.
At their home and studio, you can find many of their designs, as well as other Modernist gems and old pieces of stationery they used to draft their plans. You have to book a guided tour to enter the houses, but there will be plenty of time left to roam the grounds and take pictures of all the details. Find more information about the tour and opening times on the pages of the Alvar Aalto Foundation.
Inside Aalto Studio
The studio is where the Aaltos and their employées came up with all the great designs and buildings you can find dotted around Helsinki and the world. I particularly enjoyed all the old stationary lying around – many of the tools seemed very familiar from a box of tools my Mom keeps from her days as a draftswoman. Another highlight was the big curved studio space with its high ceilings and large windows.
Inside Aalto House
While the studio had a very clean and minimalistic feel, Aalto House was much cosier and personal. At the same time snooping around the Aaltos living quarters made you feel like a bit of an intruder, despite the fact that the home had not been lived in since Elissa Aalto’s death in 1994.