Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Maison de Verre

26ouro.xlarge1, originally uploaded by harvard4.

Maison de Verre was one of the first building that I was asked to study in architecture school. It was in a studio where we studied the relationship between a building and a piece of technology. I chose the relationship between this building and an SLR camera and the comparison still effects my thinking seven years later. Built from 1928 to 1931, it is one of the earliest examples of a truly modern house and in many ways it is still innovative and strikingly modern by todays standards. Pierre Chareau was a furniture designer and this was his first house. Look here for an interior and entrance shot.

I'm also just a big aalto fan in general.

Besides the library at Mt Angel Abbey, the other project that I really love by Aalto (although I've never seen it in person) is the Viipuri Library


, originally uploaded by [lolo].

Alvar Aalto's library at the Mt Angel Abbey in Oregon is high on the list because of the quality of light in the space. It is perched on the edge of a step hill side with views out over the farmland of the Willamette valley but one only appreciates these views through a few small windows that come as a surprise between book shelves. The focus of the space is on a central area that is lit by a combination of natural and artificial light. It is the kind of space that is so conducive to getting lost in a book.