The Aalto House

After walking around the neighborhood this morning, Mom and I ventured to the suburbs beyond Versailles to visit a house designed by the Finnish architect Aalvar Aalto. It was commissioned by a prominent Parisian gallery owner, Louis Carre, in the 1950s, and is now owned by a group that is preserving and restoring it. His wife lived in it until her death in 2002 (if I remember the date correctly), so the house is largely intact.

Like Frank Lloyd Wright, Aalto designed the furnishings and lighting for his houses, so it's good that they have all the original items—barring the wonderful artwork, of course! Carre worked out of this house and used it like a gallery to display contemporary art. Several walls were designed to display art, and Aalto also modified his light fixtures to properly light the art at night.

I was allowed to take photos, but without a flash. So I just photographed a few of my favorites. I bought a large book about the house that has wonderful photos, including many from the Carrre's elaborate garden parties. Sadly, the extensive gardens have been removed and the trees allowed to encroach upon the house.

Photos: exterior (dining room window at left, entrance under overhang, library window with vertical slats in the center under a larger overhang, and living room windows on the right), living room, wife's bedroom couch, bathtub, library.

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