ANDRÉ BLOC, The Bellevue House, Meudon, France 1949-1952.In addition to architecture, Bloc was also in charge of the interior design and designed several custom made pieces for the house, including the Bellevue chair and desk seen here. Cantilevered plywood chair by Alvar Aalto (1929-1933).
By the time Aalto and his wife Aino built their house and studio on the then outskirts of Helsinki, they had already gained international fame from the design of Paimio Sanatorium in South-Western Finland. Whereas Paimio was a stark, fully formed example of Functionalism, the house was Aalto’s first work that featured his original, slightly romanticised version of the new architectural movement.
Aalto House is characterised by human scale, beautiful use of natural light, quirky details and plain but warm finishings. The furnishings consist mainly of prototypes and early production series of furniture designed by Aalto. At the time, the interior design was radical and new, but now the house seems like a “Series 0″ of Finnish residential architecture: Aaltos’ designs and style have been accepted and assimilated into the mainstream Finnish lifestyles.
The studio wing could fit only a few persons and sometimes draughting tables were set up in the living room. Despite a lack of space, the office was located here until 1955, when Aalto built a separate studio building close to the house.
This documentary focuses on Aalto’s efforts to combine technology with indigenous materials and processes, to create architecture which was functional, cosy, and uniquely Finnish. (Photo: Doctor Casino on Flickr)