Enjoyed reading Lee Mindel’s travel account on his trip to Alvar Aalto’s Paimio Sanatorium in Finland, published in the current issue of Architectural Digest. While considered one of the more iconic building of the 20th century, the Sanatorium is just one of many lesser known such institutions, built across Europe, and particularly in the German-speaking countries since the early 20th century, all shaped in progressive, modernist taste.
The architects who designed them, most known of which is Josef Hoffman, who designed the Purkersdorf Sanatorium, built in 1903 outside Vienna, recognized that merging hygiene and healing should take the form of rational simplification, white, cubic, spare buildings. The Paimio Chair, which Aalto designed for the patients’ lounge, has since become a masterpiece of modernist furniture and perhaps the most successful manifestation of bent plywood. Aalto was inspired by Marcel Breuer's Wassily Chair but chose to use native birch rather then the tubular steel used by Breuer. For Lee's article:http://www.architecturaldigest.com/blogs/architects-eye/2013/06/paimio-sanatorium-alvar-aalto-architecture-visit-finland-blog