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Villa Mairea
A free hand
Cell by cell to form a complete entity
A Modern Manor House
Other Private residences

In the 1930s, Aalto was a great protagonist of standardisation, in terms of both writing and designing. Designing his own house and the Villa Mairea at the same time as small, industrially fabricated houses aroused questions which Aalto himself answered as follows:

The general idea seems to be that there is a distinct contrast between small-scale mass-produced housing on the one hand and residential buildings designed according to the needs of the individual, on the other. Special one-off houses have thus, in a way, been left outside the trend which has made the production of small dwellings the main social issue. However, there are circumstances in architecture where individual lifestyle, personal instincts and cultural concepts form the basis for the commission can have unique, far-reaching, even social significance, in the long term. This points the way to a new individualism; what with the continuing development of production machinery and improved forms of organisation, this will make more flexible consideration of the individual possible, even in places where the still partially developed machinery of our primitive mass production leaves its mark on housing today. One-off architectural commissions can be used as experimental laboratories where things can be done which are not possible with today’s methods of mass production, but which will gradually spread further and become available to one and all as production methods advance.
(Aino and Alvar Aalto, Arkkitehti (Finnish Architectural Review) 1939. Göran Schildt, The Decisive Years, Keuruu 1986. p154)