Paimio Sanatorium (Paimio, Finland: 1933)

Aalto designed this sanitorium for tuberculosis patients to be a “medical instrument,” a structure actively engaged in the healing process. Small touches, such as personal wash basins, glare-resistant interior paints and large balconies to soak up sunshine, came from his shrewd and empathetic observations (supposedly sick at the time himself, he realized that hospital rooms should have a “horizontal” layout, since patients would spend most of their time in bed).  The furniture Alvar and his wife Aino created for the building can still be purchased through Artek. 

(Credit: LeonL, creative commons)  Photo 9 of 11 in Design Icon: 10 Buildings By Alvar Aalto