Alvar Aalto was conserned about the social aspect in all building. This was particularly evident in his residential architecture: and this already early in his career involved creating innovative solutions. One such innovation was a stairless house type, closely set on ground level, and where the advantages of both multistorey housing and the immediate connection to nature are brought together. At the same time, he developed in his apartment block and student dormitory designs a balance between communal and private spaces, what one could call the ”city and the streets” inside the building.
Alvar Aalto Apartments opens views into Aalto’s ideals about dwelling. The internal organisation of an apartment, the relationship of the home to the outside world, the movement from one space to another and the ”city on the hill” were all issues of importance in Aalto’s deliberations, as he tried to solve the problematics of dwelling.
The book presents ten apartment blocks and two student dormitories by Aalto built in Finland, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland and the United States, from the 1920s to the end of the 1960s:
AIRA BUILDING, Railway officials’ housing, Jyväskylä, Finland
ROT HOUSES, Slope-door houses’, Sunila, Finland
STANDARD TERRACE HOUSING, Kauttua, Finland
BAKER HOUSE, Senior Dormitory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA
NATIONAL PENSIONS INSTITUTE EMPLOYEE HOUSING, Helsinki, Finland
HANSAVIERTEL APARTMENT BUILDING, Berlin, Germany
HOUSING AND BUSINESS COMPLEX, ’Sundh Centre’, Avesta, Sweden
KARKALOVAARA APARTMENT BUILDINGS, Rovaniemi, Finland
NEUE VAHR APARTMENT BUILDING, Bremen, Germany
HARJUVIITA APARTMENT BUILDING, Tapiola, Espoo, Finland
STUDENT HOUSING, Helsinki University of Technology, Otaniemi, Espoo, Finland
SCHÖNBŰHL APARTMENT BUILDING, Lucerne, Switzerland