Alvar Aalto: Villa Mairea 1938–39 (ed. Juhani Pallasmaa; Alvar Aalto Foundation & Mairea Foundation, 1998) is a beautiful monograph of one of the most acclaimed designs by Alvar Aalto, the Villa Mairea house designed for Maire and Harry Gullichsen and their family in Noormarkku, Finland.
The book has been edited by Juhani Pallasmaa, the introduction is by Kristian Gullichsen, and the expert articles are by Göran Schildt, Juhani Pallasmaa and Renja Suominen-Kokkonen. The essays examine the evolution of the design process, Aalto’s architectural thinking epitomized in the Villa Mairea’s forms, materials and spatial organisation, and the furnishing and decor of the Villa Mairea interior.
The Villa Mairea is a complex that unfolds within and around a clearing, cleaved from a forest in a similar way as traditional Finnish farm houses grew withing their clearing… The Mairea exemplifies the strategy of ‘a fragile architecture’, a principle of design which is not based on an all-powerful and dominant formal, structural or intellectual idea that dictates its parts, but on the idea of an additive and episodic ensemble that grows detail by detail from below. Aalto does not value an ideal abstract structure of the architectural solution; he is concerned with he actual unique experience in the lived situation.
— Juhani Pallasmaa, Image and meaning. In: Alvar Aalto Villa Mairea 1938–39, p. 85–86.
The book has been illustrated with photographs by Rauno Träskelin, measured drawings by Darren Stewart Capel, and plenty of archive material such as initial sketches, documents of the building project on site, and photographs from the family albums.
The copy currently in stock is in very good condition. There are no damages or faults, just some minor shelf wear on the covers.