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The villa is often praised for its harmonious relationship with nature and reference to old Finnish farmsteads. However, Finnish critics did not originally recognize Aalto’s buildings as particularly Finnish but, rather, as Le Corbusiersian with Japanese touches. Gustaf Strengell noted that the interiors of the Viipuri Library exhibited strikingly Japanese characteristics in their use of light wood in its natural state. The Villa Mairea was originally a collage of Le Corbusian modernism with Japanese tearooms, African columns, Cubist paintings, and continental Heimatstil until it slowly became a paradigm of “Finnish” or “natural” architecture in the modern architectural discourse.
C. OWEN (England) WILLIAMS, PAUL REVERE (United States) WILLIAMS, TOD AND BILLIE TSIEN (United States) WILSON, (SIR) COLIN ST. R. (England) Asplund, Erik Gunnar (Sweden) Aulenti, Gae (Italy) Baker, Herbert (England) Barnes, Edward Larrabee (United States) Barragán, Luis (Mexico) Bawa, Geoffrey (Sri Lanka) Behrens, Peter (Germany) Berlage, Hendrik Petrus (The Netherlands) Birkerts, Gunnar (United States) Blomstedt, Aulis (Finland) Bò Bardi, Lina (Brazil) Bofill, Ricardo (Spain) Böhm, Gottfried (Germany) Botta, Mario (Switzerland) Breuer, Marcel (United States) Bunshaft, Gordon (United States) Bureaux d’Etudes Henri Chomette (France and West Africa) Burle Marx, Roberto (Brazil) Burnham, Daniel H.
The Säynätsalo Town Hall (1952), another brick building, is a small version of the piazza theme that Aalto elaborated further in the town center of Seinäjoki (1956–69). After the death of Aino in 1949, Aalto married the architect Elissa Mäkiniemi, for whom he built the Muuratsalo Summer House (1953), or experimental house with an inner courtyard. The exterior walls are painted white, whereas the inner walls show brick patterns of various De Stijl compositions.