Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Aalto's first works in Jyväskylä

Hi there,

Last autumn I attended an interesting exhibition at the Alvar Aalto Museum on Aalto's works in Jyväskylä and learned hereby about a few less known Alvar Aalto buildings which I would like to present today. Among those are some of Aalto's first works here in Jyväskylä. These are mainly private houses. As soon as the snow had melted away I took the time to visit those sites.

Site No. 72: Karpio House in Jyväskylä (1923)

Only about one hundred meters away from the Alvar Aalto Museum one finds Aalto's first realized work in Jyväskylä the Karpio House. The building is located in Lehtisenkuja 1. It is located in an park like area that features many old beautiful wooden houses.

This work was actually only an upgrade to an existing building, Aalto was commissioned to make some changes to this simple wooden building. Although, Aalto didn't design the entire building he certainly left some unique features to the building that almost a hundred years ago were probably striking.

Site No. 73: Nuora House in Jyväskylä (1923)

In the same year Aalto was also commissioned to do alternations to another existing house in Jyväskylä, the Nuora House located in Taulumäentie 1. The house in close proximity to the Taulumäki Church that dominates the neighborhood. The church was erected a few years after Aalto had done the alternations to the Nuora House.

Site No. 74: Casa Lauren in Jyväskylä (1925-28)

In contrast to the two above presented houses received Aalto in the mid-1920s the commission to build a new house for the Lauren family. This house was designed for the individual needs of the Lauren family and contained in its original design four apartments. Since then the purpose of the house has, however, changed and currently the house stands empty. Nevertheless, there are some plans under way to renovate the house and to bring some new live into it. The house is located in Vapaudenkatu 12.

An interesting detail about this house is its name which clearly shows the Italian influences of Aalto's earlier works. As Aalto created a new home for the Lauren family he called the house Casa Lauren which translates from the Italian into Lauren's home. Also the design of the house shows some interesting elements for which Aalto certainly found his inspiration in Italy.

It is certainly going to be interesting to see how this building is going to develop in the future and I will provide updates on this blog as soon as the work gets under way!

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