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
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Alvar Aalto

(Credit: Eva and Pertti Ingervo. © Alvar Aalto Museum.)  Photo 11 of 11 in Design Icon: 10 Buildings By Alvar Aalto
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Stephanuskirche (Wolfsburg, Germany: 1968)

Aalto’s Functionalist church exudes a very polished feel, with a block of white columns and gorgeous wooden sound reflectors, which hang from the ceiling, providing a quiet grace to the religious site.  Photo 10 of 11 in Design Icon: 10 Buildings By Alvar Aalto
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