|Train at Paris Gare Montparnasse|
Site No. 69: Maison Louis Carre in Bazoches-sur-Guyonne / France (1956-63)
Frequently visiting friends in Paris I had planned so many times to do the little ride out of town in order to reach this magnificent piece of Aalto's work in the French countryside. It always felt so close. However, the uncertainty in how to actually reach this masterpiece from the train station in Montfort had always kept me from a visit. Nevertheless, I decided to finally overcome my concerns and do the actual visit. It is needless to say that it was worth all the efforts. While I normally always encourage people to use public transit to reach Aalto sites and try also to describe how to reach each and every site without a car, for this site I, however, recommend to use a private vehicle.
A bit hidden is Maison Louis Carre indeed, however, after ending up in front of this entrance gate featuring one of Aalto's famous creation of lamps, I was sure that I had ended up at the right place. A short description on the right side of the gate confirmed this further. The site can be visited after pre-argreement and with a guide that also explains all the elements of the house. After the tour visitors are allowed to discover the grounds on their own. A visit and tour can be booked by e-mail. Information of how to reserve a tour and when those are taking place can be found on the website of Maison Louis Carre.
The house itself is named after its first owner Louis Carre who was an arts dealer. Carre and Aalto met the first time at the Finnish Pavilion Aalto designed for the 1956 Biennale in Venice, a building I went to see the day after my visit to Maision Louis Carre. After Carre's death his widow lived in the house until the 1990s. After her death the State of Finland purchased the house in order to preserve this great masterpiece of Finland's most important architect, Alvar Aalto, for future generations.
|Night train to Milano|
|Train to Bologna|
|Train to Riola|
|Departing from Riola|
With some delay, caused through a power cut, I reached Venice Santa Lucia station in the late afternoon. Right in front of the island station I got on the water bus in order to reach my final destination before closing time, the Venice Biennale. You can basically take any boat that runs towards Lido on the lines 1, 4.1, 5.1 or 6 and get off at the stop Giardini or Giardini Biennale. Using the line 1 is probably mostly recommended as it goes all the way down the Canale Grande passing the beautiful Rialto Bridge, the Accademia, Santa Salute and of course the San Marco Square before reaching the Venice Biennale.
|Map of the exhibition|
After a delicious dinner in a traditional Italian restaurant it was again time for me to leave the country that Alvar Aalto loved and inspired so much. I left Venice the same night by the overnight train to Vienna. Here is also where my European Aalto Summer Tour ends. However, my Interrail journey continued further to Vienna, Prague, Munich, Zurich, Geneva, Lyon all the way to Madrid and finally reached its turning point in Barcelona where I had the chance to enjoy the works of another great architect, Antoni Gaudi. After that I took the long way back to Finland returning with so many great memories and a total new understand of Aalto's later work.
|Departing Venice for Vienna|