As I had a little time I also went to see the Aalto House at Riihitie. He lived here with his family for 40 years. Until the 1950's he was also using a section of the house as his studio. Like Finlandia Hall one comes away with the impression of understatement and simplicity. The house is surprisngly modest in both scale and material use.
It appeared to be framed in concrete with vertical supports in brick/blockwork or steel columns in places, and also some timber walling. It must have been a slightly unusual system for the early 1930's - presumably most domestic buildings in Finland would still have used timber structures at the time. I would like to know more about his structural engineer Magnus Malmberg.
Tours of the house are well run by the Alvar Aalto Foundation. Apparently 30% of the visitors are Japanese, so I was reassured that the Aalto influence is still alive and strong amongst many of the architects I work with. I couldn't resist buying a three-legged Artek stool to go with our three-legged Crown Table in the office!
Back in Tokyo I feel like we need another dose of Aalto - appropriate use of materials, no waste, and a classical sense of form, proportion, and links to nature. Aalto's hand is so sure it almost breaks your heart.