Monday, February 13, 2012

Maison Louis Carré

I intend to put up a few posts on the buildings we visited for the first week of history classes this semester. (This is the same week Bridgette spoke about.) Instead of a typical history course, the students succumb to two intensive weeks of non-stop lectures and field trips with renowned architectural historian, William J.R. Curtis. The second week will occur later this semester.

I joined the students for a visit to Alvar Aalto's Maison Louis Carré. I've been a fan of Aalto's work since going through architecture school, and this home was still under private ownership when I was a student, so I was anxious to see the thing up close and in person. And of course, take some photos.

The day was cloudy, windy, and frigid, and I'll be impressed if any of the students' sketches turn out with decent quality. The house, on the other hand, was comfy, cozy, and warm, and the architecture, excellent and certainly of its time. It's a good exercise to distill what I observe down to attributes to perhaps apply to my own home some day. For instance, I can pretty much ignore the servants' quarters, psh! But the sequence of spaces, skilled control of vertical voids, and choices of natural materials are all items I have locked away in the back of my memory. From far away, the painted white brick looks nice. Up close, however, ... it looks like a old pair of white gym shoes. If only you could run a building through the washing machine.

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