Architect : Aalto, Alvar
Locality : Reykjavik
Country : Iceland
Building style : Modern architecture (not specified)
Project on the map (green arrow)
Aalto's work has also been classified into periods. The functionalism of the 30s is the first white period. The next is the red period of the 40s with its brick buildings. The 50s are the bronze age after which still a new white period of the 60s follows. That was the time when the Nordic House was born. The building has white walls but a very strong element is the use of ceramics, cobalt blue porcelain rods. Aalto had designed them for the Arabia factory in Helsinki.
They emphasise the taller volume of the most important spaces of the building, the library and the adjoining hall. The dark part in the exterior architecture gives the Nordic House quite strongly its unique characteristics. For me it is in fact quite impossible to imagine the building without these ceramic walls. The building is not very big but its architecture is powerful.
Ilona Lehtinen: The Nordic House in Reykjavik and its Architect. - The Nordic House - Pohjolan talo : Alvar Aalto, Iceland - Islanti. The Nordic House, 1999, 25.
Ed. Antti Siitonen