Sunday, October 13, 2013

Alvar Aalto No. 50

Site No. 50: Tampella Co. Pekola Housing Area in Tampere (1941-1952)

Train to Tampere
Hi there! After 3 years of existence of this blog I have the pleasure to present you today the 50. Alvar Aalto site I have ever visited! To make this visit even more special, I visited the Tampella Housing Area in Tampere on my birthday a couple of days ago. A day trip to Tampere, as a tribute to my birthday, brought me to this neigbouring city of Jyväskylä which is about 150 kilometers from here or 90 minutes by train. The Tampella Housing Area is located in the district of Tammella and perfectly embedded into this area of appartment houses mostly errected after the WWII. Here are first some pictures of the housing area:

The precise address of the Tampella Housing Area is Ilmarinkatu 27-35. The housing area consists altogether of 5 appartment houses which were build during the 1940s. The houses belong to Aalto's early red brick periode. Today the houses are owned by TOAS the Tampere Student Housing Foundation so mainly students of the University of Tampere life there.

Even so the housing area is hardly distinguishing itself from the surrounding appartment houses some of the Aalto typical elements can be seen, especially when it comes to the windows and doors. However some of the windows and doors have been changed during time and don't look anymore original Aalto which is quite a pity.

 The house number 35 was just under renovation during my visit as can be seen at the picture above. 

To round up my visit to Tampere I went to the Art Museum where they had a photography exhibition about Bauhaus architecture by Gordon Watkinson. It was interesting looking at the photographs taken from buildings desinged by the famous Bauhaus architects in the 1920s and 1930s. I certainly could see elements in common with Aalto's early works from the 1930s and 1940s. That was at a time while he still hadn't created his own style and were more doing architecture common for that periode. The Tampella Housing Area is a good example of that periode in Aalto's work and definitely worth a visit while being in Tampere.

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