Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Rough Draft of Precedent Analysis: Experimental Alvar Aalto Summer House-

The summer house, designed by, Alvar Aalto, was and still is an important piece of architecture for not only himself, but also for all other architects and designers that were interested in creating a sustainable and bioclimatic house. He discovered the land for his "experimental laboratory," as Alvar called his summer house on the island of Muuratsalo, Finland, in 1952. The land he chose was heavily forested alongside a series of lakes. The actual summer house was composed atop of a rock that jutted up and rose about the water. Alvar considered this house to be his very own laboratory for architecture and developing ideas about what is best for "us," humans. He wanted to create a place that was applicable to humans in a sustainable matter. Alvar considered many things while designing his house in Finland. He was an architect that was very aware of key aspects of nature that were surrounding his design of the A-A summer house. The aspects of nature that he studied and considered for the design of his house was the topography of the land, climate where the house was located, solar patterns, and he also considered some type of flood protection. Aalto was also particularly aware of solar angles, and within his design of the summer house he is speaking to many bioclimatic concerns. Alvar adopted modernism as well as principles of modernism into his design. Due to the incorporation of modernism in his work  the materials and form were very rich. Frank O. Gehry, another great architect of  the modernist era similar to Alvar Aalto. He however, focused on deconstructivist architecture. Although this is still a form of modern architecture, Franks design speaks still of modern architecture, and also incorporates sustainable materials throughout most of his designs. For example, the Guggenheim Museum, in Spain.  However, Aalto has been labeled the father of bioclimatic design. His A-A summer house was built and designed in sections. The foundations rest upon the natural rock. Then the first section, the first phase of construction was composed of bricks painted white. Next over a year later, Aalto created the guest wing of the house. He composed it from wood and he also chose it to be painted white. Also he incorporated an interior courtyard. All of the rooms of the main section  are grouped around the interior court. His studio space is also located in the main section of the house. However, the kitchen and the bathrooms are contained in the connecting section of the house. Aalto liked to incorporate central objects within his designs. His design of the A-A summer house was very mystical due to the cohesiveness of  the building itself compared to the nature surrounding the house. As Aalto said in 1921, " Nothing old is born anew. Yet it doesn't disappear completely either. And what has already been arises again and again in new form."( Aalto, Louna Lahti, pg. 71.)  


patrick lee lucas said...

you begin well, though you could tighten the background you provide on aalto to provide much more space to develop what you think he meant by a laboratory of architecture. that idea ties to this quote..."what has already been arises again and again in new form." your job is to pull together architectural and design evidence to support the notion of an architecture for aalto that was about experimentation, trial/error, speculation...as i expect this building represents. where did this building fall in aalto's career? early as a means of experimentation or later to digest and offer discourse on the kinds of design he thought that should happen? aalto was considered by many to be very good at crossing design disciplinary boundaries...how do you find the interiors or the objects designed for this experimental house contributed to our understanding of it? what do you think his chief operating idea really was in light of all that you have uncovered?

B Peck said...

I love your detail... I don't have as much history on my designer or house but I would love to be able to include it. You may be able to expound on the feelings that this house invoke in you. How it was used. How it felt. Why the materials, why the location.... the who, what, where... how did he come to this final construct? You picked one of the great designers, so, there isn't much of what he did that isn't public.

I am pulling the ideas of outside in from your analysis to tie in with mine. I am also including the exterior and surroundings as to the who's and why's.

Good Job... I could use some help with the writing. If you need help with the model I would love to have similar construction and display to link our buildings.