Hansaviertel – Aaltos masterpiece of modern architecture

by Volha Zhauryd

hansaviertel aalto

My choice for an architecture critique is a house situated in Hansaviertel, at Klopstockstraße 30-32. It is the house projected in 1956-1957 by the Finnish Star-architect Alvar Aalto. The building is a residential house of 8 floors with 2 entrances. It consists of 39 apartments.

I would like to start with the description of the building itself. Although it is rather high, it looks really compact. A great role here plays the fact that there are only 2 entrances to the house. At the same time the building is really rambling. The colour of the dwelling is important in creating such an impression.

Aalto Back

So, the exterior walls of the house consist of white slabs which makes others feel that the house is really spacious. The free space on the first floor of the house between the entrances also creates the feeling of openness due to the opportunity to look through the whole building. Another important element of the house are the balconies, which not only widen the building from outside, but also create more space within the flats, which also seem to be rather spacious if looking at them from the street.

However, when describing this building, it is essential to remember that it is a residential house. And that is why it is also vital to say a few words about the location and the surrounding of the house. So, the building is situated just next to the underground entrance near the library and some shops. However, the area is still really quiet. Moreover, just around the house there is a small green area. And all that altogether makes the house a rather good place to live in. Apart from the rather good location, the house itself and its planning seem to be aimed at its residents. For example, in the area on the first floor near the entrances there are some benches which means that this area is projected as the place for meeting each other.

Aalto entrance

All in all, the building leaves a really good impression. On the one hand, I consider the building as something modern, something that fits in the architecture of the 21st century. With its white slabs and rather big windows the dwelling looks like a real master piece of modern architecture. On the other hand, the building seems to be really cosy and comfortable and planned for its residents. So, this house is a combination of something aesthetic with something practical.

IBA Aalto


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