Maison Louis Carré by Alvar Aalto
Maison Louis Carré was designed by the Finnish architect Alvar Aalto for the French art dealer and collector Louis Carré. The house was completed in 1959 and the swimming pool in 1963. This masterpiece of modern architecture, combining buildings, garden, furniture and interior design in a total work of art, is Aalto’s only remaining building in France on one of his most remarquable private villas.
The Maison Louis Carré is possibly one of the most important private houses designed by Alvar Aalto because it brings together the work and the private life of the client.
The house is located on a sloping, south-facing site of roughly three hectares with commanding views of the surrounding countryside in every direction. You can really see this when entering the garden, it’s almost set into the ground and slopes downwards with the hill, the angle of the roof perfectly aligned with the land itself creating a seamless design within it’s surrounding environment.
What’s most extraordinary about this build is the way that Aalto designed every element of the building, including carpets, lighting, and obviously the furniture with the help of some collaborating friends. A lot of the fittings and the details were specifically designed for this building and were individual one offs, others were from Alvar Aalto’s range, most notably the chairs that were in production at the time.
The Maison Louis Carré was meant to combine the work of skilled Finnish carpenters with the delicacy of French elegance, from what I can see this has definitely worked well on the finished piece and merges nicely together.
One thing that strikes the visitor with this place is how structurally this house is very functional. You’re moved around quite intentionally from one level to another level throughout the building, each having it’s own natural lighting. This is important with the slope as you feel like you’re at one with the surrounding nature and general angle that the architect meant to initiate.
The house in now owned by the Association Alvar Aalto in France, which is restoring the house.
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