Alajärvi Youth Association Building
Aalto designed this house for his friend and fellow academician Joonas Kokkonen in 1967–69. It was built on a wooded plot that slopes down westward. There are three structures: from the villa proper, a sloping pergola leads to the sauna and irregular swimming pool; the shed-like garage stands separate by the access road. The sauna is made of logs and and the house faced with narrow, vertical strips of dark stained wood. The main building reflects its three different functions: the music studio rises up higher than the other parts, a smaller section containing the combined living room and dining room with a skylight above the dinner table, and finally the kitchen and bedroom section.
Hidden among a clump of trees, the villa has no ostentatious facades: in fact it makes a decidedly introverted impression, the spacious music studio constituting its main theme. With its vertical windows suggestive of religious architecture, its linen-clad walls, and its bellied acoustic ‘sail’ in the ceiling, this room was intended not only to help the composer concentrate on his work but also to enable him to arrange intimate concerts of chamber music, during which the heavy, soundproof door of the living room would be closed. Meanwhile, the family could carry on with their everyday life in the other parts of the comfortable home.
The sauna stands next to a small swimming pool at some distance from the main building, and contains a guest room as well as a washroom and bathing room.