Sunday, June 10, 2012

Alvar Aalto in Estonia

Finally I visited my first Aalto site abroad, I travelled to Tartu, the second biggest city in Estonia. To get there I had first to use the bus to Helsinki and then the Night-Ferry to Tallin. The next day I took the morning train from Tallin to Tartu. There my good friend Janar who lifes in Tartu picked me up from the station and after we have had a nice sightseeing tour through the old city of Tartu, which is by the way really worth a visit, we headed towards Villa Tammekann. At this point I would like to thank Janar for hosting me and Dani for two nights in his home and for the hostability of his family. This post and its picturs are dedicated to Janar.

Townhall of Tartu
Train to Tartu

Site No. 42: Villa Tammekann in Tartu / Estonia (1932)

Street sign to Villa Tammekann
Villa Tammekann is located not far from the city centre of Tartu in Kreutzwalditee 6 at a nice alley surrounded by other villas. The Villa was designed by Alvar Aalto and built in 1932 for Professor August Tammekann and his family as a residence. Today the Villa is owned by the Finnish University of Turku and houses the so called Granö Centre a joint venture of the University of Turku and the University of Tartu. The Granö Centre was opened in 2000 after the building had been renovated and brought back into its original style. The Villa nowadays mostly hosts members of the University and is used as a temporary accomodation. Villa Tammekann can be visited by arrangement, the caretaker will open the doors for you after you have made an appointment and guide you through the house, the entrance fee is 3 euros.

Here are now first some views from outside of the building:

And pictures from the first floor where the living room, working room, dining room and kitchen are located. Also the furnitures were designed by Alvar Aalto.

In the second floor there are three bed-rooms.

In the basement there is a large meeting room and a sauna as well as a further bed-room.

Estonian flag on the ferry back to Helsinki

Altogether was the visit to Villa Tammekann a really great experience. It was nice to visit a building whose entire interior was equipped with furniture also designed by Alvar Aalto. Worth to mention here is also the layout of the building and how efficient the space was used. It gives you the feeling that the building is much larger as it actually really is. At this point I would also like to thank the caretaker for showing us around in the house and the University of Turku for arranging this visit.