Villa Hvittrask

Villa Hvittrask

Villa Hvitträsk is a turn of the 20th century architectural office where many famous buildings were designed. Begun in 1901 and completed in 1903, Villa Hvittrask was the place where the National Museum of Finland and the Helsinki Railway Station were designed.

Villa Hvittrask history

Hvitträsk was built between by architects Herman Gesellius, Armas Lindgren and Eliel Saarinen.

The three men had established their partnership a few years earlier shortly before their graduation from the Polytechnic Institute and University of Helsinki. They fell in love with the scenery at Lake Vitträsk and decided to build there in the National Romantic style.

They built Hvitträsk to consolidate their practice and to escape the congestion and noise of city life. The complex included a shared studio, homes for each of their families, and several service buildings. The architects arranged their studio and homes around a central garden courtyard.

During the early decades, the main building served as both an architectural office and as a cultural home. Esteemed figures such as Jean Sibelius, Gustav Mahler, Axel Gallen-Kallela and Maksim Gorki often visited. The office’s staff also lived at Hvitträsk. The plans for the Helsinki Railway Station, the National Museum of Finland and the monumental Munkkiniemi-Haaga project, among other significant works were drawn up here.

Villa Hvittrask today

The Hvitträsk complex resembles an ancient castle built in the middle of a Finnish forest. This architectural entity is now considered a leading work of art of the Art Noveau period in Finland. It is deeply Finnish in character, although some of its’ forms and elements, such as the shingle cladding of the walls and the shapes of the red-tiled roof and chimneys are reminiscent of English and American architecture.

Hvitträsk is a unique site that attracts design and architecture enthusiasts from far and wide.

Today the part of the complex that was once the Saarien home serves as the museum. Hvitträsk and its English style garden are surrounded by beautiful nature near the shore of Lake Vitträsk. Visitors can explore the gardens, dine at the restaurant and buy souvenirs in the gift shop.

Restaurant Hvitträsk, located in the museum’s courtyard building serves food inspired by the Finnish-Scandinavian tradition.

Getting to Villa Hvittrask

Visitors can drive to the Hvitträsk house, heading towards the village of Luoma-Bobäck. The nearest train station is Kauklahti.


Hvitträsk atelier was built between 1901-1903 by architects Herman Gesellius, Armas Lindgren and Eliel Saarinen. The main building, designed in National Romantic style, built of logs and natural stone, was both a common studio and a home for Eliel Saarinen and Armas Lindgren for some years after it was completed.

Seveval famous artists, including Jean Sibelius, Axeli Gallen-Kallela and Maksim Gorki, visited in Hvitträsk. It later became the private residence of Eliel Saarinen. It’s a museum today, and within the courtyard building are a restaurant and a café. Hvitträsk and its lovely English style garden are surrounded by beautiful nature near the shore of Lake Vitträsk.



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Stiftelsen restaurerade byggnaderna och öppnade dem för allmänheten som museum 1971. Sedan 1981 ägs Hvitträsk av finska staten och upprätthålls av Finlands Nationalmuseum. Renoveringar gjorde 1992–2000. Det mesta av originalmöblerna har numera återställts. Till den finländska konstindustrins pärlor hör bl.a. möblerna som ritats av Saarinen och Akseli Gallen-Kallelas rya Lågan.

Många kända personer besökte Hvitträsk en tid. Bland besökarna fanns Jean Sibelius som hittade hällmålningarna vid Vitträsk och Akseli Gallen-Kallela.


From 1894 to 1910, Villa spent most of his time in the mountains running from the law. At first, he did what he could to survive by himself. By 1896, however, he had joined up with some other bandits and become their leader.

Villa and his group of bandits would steal cattle, rob shipments of money, and commit other crimes against the wealthy. Because he stole from the rich and often shared his spoils with the poor, some saw Villa as a modern-day Robin Hood.

It was during this time that Doroteo Arango began using the name Francisco "Pancho" Villa. ("Pancho" is a common nickname for "Francisco.") There are many theories as to why he chose that name. Some say it was the name of a bandit leader he had met others say it was Villa's fraternal grandfather's last name.

Villa's notoriety as a bandit and his prowess at escaping capture caught the attention of men who were planning a revolution against the Mexican government. These men understood that Villa's skills would make him an excellent guerilla fighter during the revolution.

Jewels at the Baltic Gates: Riga, Tallinn and Helsinki. Cancelled in April 2020. The journey was cancelled in May 2020 and it is planned to organise a similar journey in September 2021 16 - 22 September, 2021

Visiting Riga, Tallinn and Helsinki provides not only a wonderful opportunity to become acquainted with less familiar countries and cultures but also an exciting opportunity to see the birth of national identities (on all possible levels) in a relatively short period of time.

Latvia and Estonia are small countries each with a long history, ancient cultures and a very short period of independence dating from 1918, abruptly stopped in 1939 and then only restarted extremely recently in 1991. Both countries are close neighbours but at the same time very different historically. Despite Soviet Occupation these countries managed though years of hardship to hold on to their local traditions, although the Soviet heritage brought about major problems – such as the high number of newly-settled Russians amounting for half the population in some Latvian cities, including Riga. However today, Latvia and Estonia are extremely proud of being different and are culturally alive with their own traditions which give them the chance to survive in the new global world of the 21st century.

Latvia was dominated for a long time by German ‘crusaders’, by the German Order that brought Christianity to Latvia and because of the high percentage of the German population, Riga remained predominantly a German city until World War II. Running parallel to the Germanic influences, there was the Dukedom of Courland that became part of the Russian Empire after Peter the Great’s time in the 18th century. This drew Latvia into the Russian orbit and brought magnificent results such as the baroque palaces by the famous architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli. During the early 20th century Riga was a highly developed city with the strongest of musical traditions (Richard Wagner was one of the chief Conductors of its opera house). At the same time, Riga produced an almost unrivalled Art Nouveau architecture which can still be admired today in the beautifully preserved old city.

Like Latvia, Estonia has a complex history and Tallinn has all the hallmarks of a well-preserved medieval city. The city was originally developed by the Danes, then belonged to a German Order, then to Sweden and since 1721 was a Russian enclave up until independence in 1991. All these ‘invaders’ have left their traces and the city is a charming mixture of Gothic, Baroque, classical and even neo-Russian monuments. But it is also exciting to see the formation of a new Tallinn with its inventive contemporary architecture and the Kumu, a wonderful new museum of art. To the east of Estonia, is the old city of Tartu with its famous University which has played a critical role in the development of Russian and Soviet cultures.

Compared with major traditional European countries, Finland only acquired its unique and very own identity in the last hundred years or so. In this time, its culture has become recognizable almost as ‘a European brand’.Though Finland belongs to the same language group as Estonia and Latvia – Finno-Ugrian, their histories and their heritage are very different. Only a short sea journey across a narrow strip of water – the Gulf of Finland – separates them, but for all their similarities, it might just as well be a giant ocean.Helsinki’s development only got going in 1817. Its core is classical and in many ways is reminiscent of St Petersburg. But the late 19th century brought growth of a national conscience and its artistic expression was a neo-Romanticism, a fascinating mixture of Art Nouveau and a northern national folklore. Indeed, the Villa Hvittrask belonged to leaders of this nationalist surge and became very influential in the Arts and Crafts movement at the beginning of the 20th century.

Throughout the journey, Professor Leporc will focus on the fascinating art, culture and history of these three countries and their irresistible will for independence. Perhaps one of the most glorious moments was the Soviet –Finnish war of 1939-40 when small Finland heroically resisted Russian aggression. The whole world suddenly took note of this great example of Finnish courage. Though the Finns were defeated, they showed a strength of character that inspired a rapid post-war development.

This journey is open to Friends of the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester. Please note that Distant Horizons has sole responsibility for the operation of this tour. The Whitworth Art Gallery has no direct control over the operation of any tours.


In 1565 a priest, Paolo Almerico, on his retirement from the Vatican (as referendario apostolico of Pope Pius IV and afterwards Pius V), decided to return to his home town of Vicenza in the Venetian countryside and build a country house. This house, later known as 'La Rotonda', was to be one of Palladio's best-known legacies to the architectural world. Villa Capra may have inspired a thousand subsequent buildings, but the villa was itself inspired by the Pantheon in Rome.

The site selected was a hilltop just outside the city of Vicenza. Unlike some other Palladian villas of the Veneto, the building was not designed from the start to accommodate a working farm. This sophisticated building was designed for a site which was, in modern terminology, "suburban". Palladio classed the building as a "palazzo" rather than a villa.

The design is for a completely symmetrical building having a square plan with four facades, each of which has a projecting portico. The whole is contained within an imaginary circle which touches each corner of the building and centres of the porticos. (illustration, left).

The name La Rotonda refers to the central circular hall with its dome. To describe the villa, as a whole, as a rotunda is technically incorrect, as the building is not circular but rather the intersection of a square with a cross. Each portico has steps leading up to it, and opens via a small cabinet or corridor to the circular domed central hall. This and all other rooms were proportioned with mathematical precision according to Palladio's own rules of architecture which he published in I quattro libri dell'architettura. [1] Works spaces for the villa's servants are hidden in a low level underneath the first floor, which is accessed via staircases hidden inside the walls of the central hall. [2]

The design reflected the humanist values of Renaissance architecture. In order for each room to have some sun, the design was rotated 45 degrees from each cardinal point of the compass. Each of the four porticos has pediments graced by statues of classical deities. The pediments were each supported by six Ionic columns. Each portico was flanked by a single window. All principal rooms were on the second floor or piano nobile.

Building began in 1567. Neither Palladio nor the owner, Paolo Almerico, were to see the completion of the villa. Palladio died in 1580 and a second architect, Vincenzo Scamozzi, was employed by the new owners to oversee the completion. One of the major changes he made to the original plan was to modify the two-storey central hall.

Palladio had intended it to be covered by a high semi-circular dome but Scamozzi designed a lower dome with an oculus (intended to be open to the sky) inspired by the Pantheon in Rome. The dome was ultimately completed with a cupola.

The interior design of the Villa was to be as wonderful, if not more so, than the exterior.

Alessandro and Giovanni Battista Maganza and Anselmo Canera were commissioned to paint frescoes in the principal salons.

Among the four principal salons on the piano nobile are the West Salon (also called the Holy Room, because of the religious nature of its frescoes and ceiling), and the East Salon, which contains an allegorical life story of the first owner, Paolo Almerico, his many admirable qualities portrayed in fresco.

The highlight of the interior is the central, circular hall, surrounded by a balcony and covered by the domed ceiling it soars the full height of the main house up to the cupola, with walls decorated in trompe-l'œil.

Abundant frescoes create an atmosphere that is more reminiscent of a cathedral than the principal salon of a country house.

From the porticos, views of the surrounding countryside can be seen this is no coincidence as the Villa was designed to be in perfect harmony with the landscape.

This was in complete contrast to such buildings as Villa Farnese of just 16 years earlier.

Thus, while the house appears to be completely symmetrical, it actually has certain deviations, designed to allow each facade to complement the surrounding landscape and topography. Hence, there are variations in the facades, in the width of steps, retaining walls, etc. In this way, the symmetry of the architecture allows for the asymmetry of the landscape, and creates a seemingly symmetrical whole. The landscape is a panoramic vision of trees and meadows and woods, with Vicenza on the horizon.

The northwest portico is set onto the hill as the termination of a straight carriage drive from the principal gates. This carriageway is an avenue between the service blocks, built by the Capra brothers, who acquired the Villa in 1591 they commissioned Vincenzo Scamozzi to complete the villa and construct the range of staff and agricultural buildings.

In 1994 UNESCO designated the building as part of a World Heritage Site. [3]

The last owner of the villa was Mario di Valmarana († Oct. 13, 2010), a former professor of architecture at the University of Virginia. [4] It was his declared ambition to preserve Villa Rotonda so that it may be appreciated by future generations. The interior is open to the public on Wednesdays and Saturdays, except during the winter months, and the grounds are open every day.

In 1979 the American film director Joseph Losey filmed Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's opera Don Giovanni in Villa La Rotonda and the Veneto region of Italy. The film was nominated for several César Awards in 1980 including Best Director, and has generally been praised as one of the finer cinematic adaptations of opera.

Villa Hvittrask - History

Photographs and captions by George P. Landow and Jacqueline Banerjee, with thanks to Sarah Sullivan for suggesting this topic. [You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite it in a print one.]

Left to right: (a) Townsend's Horniman Museum (1898-1901). (b) Helsinki Central Railway Station, by Eliel Saarinen (1873-1950), built 1911-14. [Click on these and subsequent thumbnails for larger images.]

Seen from this angle, Helsinki Central Railway Station bears a broad resemblance to the work of Charles Harrison Townsend, namely in the juxtaposition of a great arch over a main vaulted building, and a tall tower to the side. There is, in fact, an indirect connection between the two buildings.

A sampling of nineteenth-century neo-classical Russo-Finnish architecture

A sampling of nineteenth-century Finnish architecture in Helsinki. Left to right: (a and b) Helsinki Cathedral on the north side of Senate Square, by Carl Ludwig Engel (1778-1840), 1830-50 [the photograph at right was taken in 1969]. (c) Another neo-classical work on Senate Square by Engel: the main building of Helsinki University, completed 1832.

(a) The more fanciful, fashionable Kappeli Restaurant in the South Esplanade (1867), once a meeting-place of the cultural élite. (b) The Library at the University of Helsinki (c) The Lyceo in Jyväskylä, the high school for those heading to University, adorned in the Finnish-Russian classical style — here with Gothic Revival windows — and painted the traditional yellow and white.

For the most part, the nineteenth century in Finland was the age of (Russian) government architecture. When Czar Alexander I moved the capital to Helsinki at the beginning of the period, he appointed the German-born neo-classical architect Carl Ludwig Engel (1778-1840) to construct the grand heart of the new capital, Senate Square. The "centre piece of [Engel's] vision for Imperial Helsinki" was the cathedral (Kent 91) but he also designed the impressive Government Palace, the main university building and the National Library there. With its monumental statue of Czar Alexander II in the middle, this square could indeed be somewhere in St Petersburg. But the assassination of the Fins' "good Czar" was followed by the rise of what is often called "national romanticism," and new idioms began to appear. For example, the influence of the English Arts and Crafts movement can be traced in Saarinen's own house, built 1901-4, as well as in some of the buildings shown above. These new idioms spread far beyond Helsinki itself.

A sampling of nineteenth-century Finnish vernacular architecture in Helsinki and Jyväskylä

(a) On the Esplanade in Helsinki: hints of Finland's rural past, and Arts and Crafts influence, in a picturesque wooden kiosk of 1893. Three right: A sampling of nineteenth-century Finnish architecture in Jyväskylä, a university city about three hours north of Helsinki. Left to right: (b) A nineteenth-century building in the traditional style, one of the few remaining in the center. (c) The house of Wivi Lönn, the woman who was Jyväskylä's most famous architect. Her home sits in the middle of the University campus.

Amongst the other architects (besides Saarinen) who submitted designs for Helsinki's new railway station at the end of the century was Sigurd Frosterus (1876-1956). He had expected to submit a joint design with his contemporary and associate Gustaf Strengell (1878-1937). However, like many ambitious young architects of the time, both were working abroad, Frosterus in the cultural hub of Weimar in Germany, and Strengell in another cultural hub — London. Here, Strengell had joined Townsend's office (see Sarje 94). Strengell missed the deadline for the competition. But he was already an influential figure, having been elected secretary of the Finnish Society for Crafts and Design in 1901 (Sarje 101 a position that he held until 1918). On his return he spoke out publicly and vehemently in support of Frosterus's entry and against Saarinen's, to the extent that Saarinen was compelled to alter his original "rusticated, medieval-referenced national romantic design," to a "composition incorporating delicate concrete vaulted interior spaces" and something of the "volumetric massing articulated by strong vertical accents, which often included a dominant tower element" that continued to characterize his work up to World War I ("Eliel Saarinen, Architect Biography"). In fact, the final design was remarkably similar to Frosterus's proposed design, over which he and Stregell had certainly exchanged views (in fact, Kimmo Sarje, who reproduces the design, ascribes it to both of them — see Sarje's fig. 3, p. 97).

The station is a landmark building, and Saarinen's very substantial revision represented an important milestone in the development both of his own highly influential career and of modern architecture in Finland, exemplified later in the work of the equally influential Alvar Aalto (1898-1976). Townsend's influence could only have been one link in the chain, and he himself was clearly influenced by architectural developments in America — where Saarinen finally made his home. But there was a connection, reminding us of the extraordinarily complex and sometimes quite unexpected ways in which new architectural movements develop and spread.


Kent, Neil. Helsinki: A Cultural and Literary History . Oxford: Signal Books, 2004.

Sarje, Kimmo. Gustaf Strengell and Nordic Modernism." The Nordic Journal of Aesthetics , No. 35 (2008): 93-120. Web. 28 October 2014.

Villa Hvittrask (Saarinen's house). Cupola Gallery. Web. 28 October 2014.


By Peter Thornton. Illustrated. 408 pp. (Viking Penguin, $100 $125 after Dec. 31.)By Kenneth Frampton. Photographs by Yukio Futagawa. 465 pp. (Rizzoli, $65.)By Claude Mignot. Illustrated. 322 pp. (Rizzoli, $60.)By Jean d'Ormesson, David Watkin, Hugh Montgomery-Massingberd, Pierre-Jean Remy, Frederic Grendel and Marc Walter. Illustrated. 256 pp. (Vendome, $45.) By Fred Anderes and Ann Agranoff. Illustrated. 132 pp. (Abbeville, Cloth, $29.95. Paper, $16.) By Walter McQuade. Illustrated. 231 pp. (Abrams, $40.) By Elizabeth Gaynor. Photographs by Kari Haavisto. 252 pp. (Rizzoli, $35.) By Mills Lane. Illustrated. 258 pp. (Beehive Press, $75.)By Suzanne Slesin and Stafford Cliff. Photographs by Ken Kirkwood. 288 pp.

(Clarkson N. Potter/Crown, $35.)

As interest in architecture continues to grow, it moves out to subjects once considered peripheral to the writing of serious architectural history - to the design of household objects, to automobiles, to buildings that are fanciful rather than ''real,'' to the business as well as the esthetics of architecture. And architectural publishing has reflected this embrace of what was once the merely tangential. This year, there are books for the general reader on subjects that could not have found anything more than a specialized audience a few years ago. They join with a growing number of more conventional architectural books - lavishly illustrated volumes about buildings, that is - to create a rich array of Christmas possibilities.

* AUTHENTIC DECOR: The Domestic Interior 1620-1920.

'ɺuthentic Decor'' is an unusual, ambitious and impressive book. It is rare that scholarship is brought to bear on the question of interior design for all the attention we have been giving to rooms lately, they are still treated somewhat frivolously, as if we believe the province of scholars ends with a building's outside walls. There are no such limitations to this book. Peter Thornton, the keeper of the department of furniture and woodwork at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, sees the design of rooms as central to architectural and social history. He gives us a welcome phrase - the ''period eye'' - to summarize an age's attitude toward interior space. He knows attitudes toward interior design are partly determined by fashion, but he also knows that fashion, for all our tendency to trivialize it, can provide insights into the temper of an age. Over time, Mr. Thornton sees shifting attitudes toward density - some periods are amenable to having rooms filled up, and others like them emptied out. It is an intriguing thesis, more serious than it sounds in this brief summary, and it is presented here along with an exceptional collection of illustrations, all of which are reproductions of original source materials. The result is a book both elegant and readable.

* AUTOMOBILE AND CULTURE. By Gerald Silk, Angelo Tito Anselmi, Strother MacMinn and Henry Flood Robert Jr. Illustrated. 319 pp. (Abrams, $45.) The cover of 'ɺutomobile and Culture'' has a splashy photograph of a brilliant red taillight from a 1939 Packard Darrin, so you know from the start that this is no ordinary car book, no coffeetable version of a dime-store hot-rod magazine. It is perhaps the most upscale book about the car ever produced - a big,handsome attempt to tell the history of the automobile as a work of design and to analyze its effect on art and its relationship to society and culture. That is a lot for a single book to do, and it does not fully succeed. It works best in the area that is the freshest and the easiest to limit and define - documenting the role of the car as an object of inspiration for artists. Included are illustrations of work ranging from the photographs of Jacques Henri Lartigue in Paris in the first years of this century to the prints of Ed Ruscha in Los Angeles in our own time. In every section, there is splendid color and black-and-white photography of automobiles both exotic and common. And the design by Samuel Antupit is exceptionally handsome without falling back on cliched uses of motifs from cars or highways, he nevertheless manages to imbue a sense of movement and energy to these pages.


Kenneth Frampton is an architectural historian of international repute, a confirmed modernist whose strength has always been his ability to share the utopian aspirations of modernism while being strongly critical of much of the work those aspirations have produced. Yukio Futagawa is one of the world's eminent architectural photographers, whose pictures inevitably bring a fresh, but not quirky, eye to well- known buildings. ''Modern Architecture 1851-1945'' has an unusual format - relatively short, chronological chapters by Mr. Frampton followed by a portfolio of buildings, each accompanied by long captions. It would be an excellent way to present architectural history, were it not for the fact that Mr. Frampton's prose is particularly ungraceful, and beside Mr. Futagawa's expansive photographs seems even more dense than usual. Mr. Frampton is less interested in the actual appearance of buildings than in the theoretical ideas behind them. His sympathies are strongly with the disciplined and rigorous work of the International Style, and it is telling that he chooses to end his chronology in 1945, before the dreary buildings that descended from the International Style took over the American landscape.


We do not really need another history of 19th-century architecture, and we do not really need another big, lavishly illustrated picture book, either. Why, then, is 'ɺrchitecture of the Nineteenth Century in Europe'' worthwhile? Claude Mignot, who teaches at the Sorbonne, presents a new way of seeing 19th-century architecture, which to him was not a mere parade of revivals but a period that was as inventive as any other, an era in which new technology was brilliantly joined to cultural continuity. He is right that is a good way to look at the 19th century. The problem is that it is not so fresh an outlook as it pretends to be. The famed modernist historian Sigfried Gideon might have dismissed the 19th century, but most scholars in the last 20 years have not, and Mr. Mignot is more in the mainstream than he thinks. The writing is competent, if not inspired, but, on balance, the book's real value lies, as it does with so many large-format volumes, in its numerous photographs, printed large and well.

* THE WORLD ATLAS OF ARCHITECTURE. Foreword by John Julius Norwich. Illustrated. 408 pp. (G. K. Hall, $75.) It seems like there is one of these every year - a big, splashy, basic book. Do people who know as little about a subject as one must to find this kind of primer appealing really want to invest this much money in learning about it? Probably not, unless they happen to be rich aunts looking to gladden the Christmas of young architecture buffs. But for all of that, ''The World Atlas of Architecture,'' a revised and expanded edition of ''Great Architecture of the World'' (1975), is an exceptionally good example of its genre. The historical chapters are clearly and solidly written, and the illustrations are stunning. There is a mix of photographs, maps and drawings and a number of color cutaway drawings of celebrated buildings (such as Chartres Cathedral) that are particularly appealing. The biggest problem is that, like so many books that take most of civilized history in their scope, this one falls apart when it reaches the present. The last couple of decades are not so much analyzed as railed against in an essay that is a confused and silly critique of the so-called postmodern movement.

* GRAND HOTEL: The Golden Age of Palace Hotels. An Architectural and Social History.

Here, at last, the lavish, overproduced format that the Vendome Press is known for yields not a sense of inappropriate excess, but a book that is right on the mark. ''Grand Hotel'' is well designed, well illustrated and, for the most part, well written, beginning with a lyrical introduction by Jean d'Ormesson that is full of talk of grandes dames and chambermaids and and romantic intrigue. It sets just the right tone, and though the book shifts gears considerably in the following chapter - David Watkin's much more businesslike architectural history of the grand hotel - the glorious illustrations that march on throughout the book tie these diverse chapters together. This is really the story of the European luxury hotel there is barely a reference to the Plaza or the Waldorf or the Beverly Hills, but there is more than enough of the Savoy and the Ritz to make up for them. What is most impressive here, however, is not the writing but the pictures - a brilliant and overflowing array of photographs of buildings, rooms, menus, doorways, chairs, parties and people, put together so well that they manage, more than one could possibly expect, to evoke the experience of being in one of the great hotels of the past.

In this age of rediscovery of every tangential aspect of architectural history, from the buildings of amusement parks to the buildings of fast-food, why not a look at buildings made of water? There really is a history to be told here, and if the writing in ''Ice Palaces'' is conventional, not to say plodding, the pictures redeem it. This is a joyous book, a tale of discovery for those, like me, who did not know that big, elaborate buildings of ice have been constructed since the 18th century when Empress Anna of Russia built the first great ice palace and that the tradition has continued all the way through to some surprisingly respectable Art Deco buildings of ice built in St. Paul, Minn., in the 1930's. What is most intriguing is the extent to which these ice palaces, as large as permanent buildings, reflected the styles of the times in which they were built - ice, it seems, can make Romanesque arches and castellated fortresses as well as stone can.

* TRUMP TOWER. By Jonathan Mandell. Photographs by Sy Rubin. 200 pp. (Lyle Stuart, $30.) ''Trump Tower'' is a thoroughly engaging book, and one unlike almost any architectural publication of recent years. It is chock- full of pictures, moves briskly and has lots of dialogue the effect is more that of a movie than a book. Sy Rubin, a photographer who has been prowling the streets of New York for some years, and Jonathan Mandell, a reporter for The Daily News, set out to document the history of a skyscraper from the beginning of construction to completion. They give us a fairly good inside view of much of the story, particularly in a lively opening chapter set, as a good screenwriter might do it, at the ''topping out'' ceremony at the pinnacle of Trump Tower. We are less behind-the-scenes at certain other moments we never see the developer, Donald Trump, haggling with the Equitable Life Assurance Company to get the money to build the tower, for example. But this is far from an official view of this building it is blunt in repeating criticism that Trump Tower has received and in presenting Donald Trump's flamboyant personality. The author and photographer provide good portraits of many of the workers who built the tower, and if there is an almost naive tone to some of the writing, it is not unlike the studied naivete of cinema verite, and the overall product is surprisingly entertaining.


'ɺrchitecture in the Real World'' is an unusual, but ultimately disappointing, book. Intended as a behind-the-scenes look at the true nature of the practice of architecture, it comes off more as a strained homage to a huge architecture firm - the St. Louis- based Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum (HOK) - noted more for its marketing skill than its buildings. There is a basic conflict at the heart of the book. Walter McQuade, a veteran architecture journalist, tries to present HOK as a commercial architectural firm whose buildings work and are free of the esthetic games played by more celebrated designers, but at the same time he presents the firm as the peer of high-design firms like Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, I. M. Pei, Kevin Roche, Edward Larrabee Barnes and Johnson and Burgee. So he at once disparages the big-name designers and seeks to put his subject in their class. The truth is that HOK, despite strong leadership by the conscientious and earnest Gyo Obata, has not made a major contribution to contemporary architecture. As a result, the book, for all it does to show the inner workings of HOK, still seems forced. Making the text more awkward still are some puzzling comparisons of HOK to Alvar Aalto and the suggestion that HOK's failure to get many chances to build in New York results from the tendency of New York architects to act as a private club - a point that ignores the fact that, until a few years ago, most of New York's best architects didn't get to build much in New York themselves.

Many books on interior design deal with mood as much as fact, and 'ɿinland'' is no exception. But this is precisely what a mood book should be: concise in its information, but solid, handsome and intelligent. Elizabeth Gaynor writes well and presents Finnish design as an approach in which ''modern manages to be up-to-date without forgetting its country and romantic legacies. In effect, an attraction of opposites gives the style its long- lasting appeal both within Finland and outside.'' This book would be worth owning if only for the full and elegant presentations of Eliel Saarinen's great country house, Hvittrask, and Alvar Aalto's Villa Mairea. But Elizabeth Gaynor and Kari Haavisto go far beyond the celebrated modern monuments in Finland and present a mix of houses, cottages, rooms and single objects that makes clear the continued richness and diversity of Finnish design.


'ɺrchitecture of the Old South'' may start a new trend toward the production of elegant books without any color photographs. It is an exceptionally handsome and dignified book, the first in a promised series on the great pre-Civil War buildings of the South. The text is straightforward and sensible, beginning with an acknowledgement that buildings throughout the United States at any given time tended to be more similar than different. Mills Lane does not strive for an art-historical thesis that is not really there, in other words, and thus does not present the South as a culture entirely apart from the rest of the country. But neither is he indifferent to scholarly issues: these buildings are evaluated with a knowing and sensitive eye and positioned correctly in American architectural and social history. The result is a book that tells us the story of numerous important buildings and, through them, subtly lets the story of the old South unfold.

What makes English things English is an interesting question. But to read in Terence Conran's foreword to 'ɾnglish Style'' that 'ɺnalyzing English style is as difficult as grabbing an octopus,'' then discover 10 short paragraphs later that it is characterized by 'ɺn underlying simplicity and understatement, combined with comfort and pleasure in the eclectic'' is, to put it as politely as possible, something of a letdown. Similarly, in her preface, Fiona MacCarthy asks, ''What other country has produced a book like Evelyn Waugh's ɻrideshead Revisited,' in which the hero is a house?'' 'ɺmerica,'' one is tempted to snap back, ''House of Seven Gables,'' before realizing that to pursue the question at all is a waste of time. 'ɾnglish Style,'' compiled by Suzanne Slesin, an assistant editor of the Home section of The New York Times, and Stafford Cliff, the creative director and head of graphic design at Conran Associates in London, pretends to be a book about the idea of Englishness in contemporary decorative arts. What it really is is just a miscellany of recent interior design in England. The photographs are fascinating and beautifully reproduced, and, unlike the text, they speak volumes about the state of things in England. - Gerald Allen

The development it began when the plot was purchased by the company in 1901. The construction was mostly completed by 1903. [1] [2] [3] [4] The house was named after Lake Vitträsk [fi] , by which it was built. [H]vitträsk literally means White Lake. Today Hvitträsk is a museum open to the public. The red-roofed manor structure facing the lake is the main museum building, and the brownish structure separated on the other side by a yard is the cafeteria. There is also a smaller sauna down by the lake. [5]

In 1922 Lindgren's home in the north side partially burned down. Eliel Saarinen's son Eero Saarinen designed a new building in its place in 1929–33. [5] [1] [6]

Martin Tonewood Comparison - Mahogany vs Rosewood vs Maple

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Watch the video: Hvitträsk