Villa Mairea was built in 1939 as a modern residence for Maire and Harry Gullichsen, who were ardent lovers and promoters of art. Progressive and unprejudiced, they were interested in modernist abstract art and utopian ideology. The designers of their home, the like-minded architects Aino and Alvar Aalto, were given free hands and an opportunity for unrestricted experimentation.
Propitious conditions generated a unique total work of art, which has attained world-wide recognition as one of the greatest masterpieces of 20th-century architecture. In Alvar Aalto’s oeuvre, Villa Mairea represents the phase of his shift from the simplified forms of Functionalism towards a more organic modern architecture combining motifs from various origins. The interior design of the villa was the work of Aino Aalto.
Through Maire Gullichsen’s life-long devotion to art, Villa Mairea is connected with many Finnish establishments of art and design, including the furnishing business Artek, Galerie Artek, the Free Art School and Pori Art Museum, in whose foundation she had a decisive role.
It is possible to visit Villa Mairea on advance reservation. Visits are organised by the Mairea Foundation.
“It is possible to use an individual design case as a kind of test laboratory, where things can be done that would be impossible for present-day mass production to execute but from where test cases spread and gradually, with advanced technology, become generally available."
Aino and Alvar Aalto 1939 in the Finnish Architectural Review, Arkkitehti