Dissertation in the field of architecture: Architect Pirjo Sanaksenaho
The dissertation studies through material found in the publications how the ideals for modern living were built in Finland in the 1950s and 1960s.
Architect Pirjo Sanaksenaho will defend her dissertation Moderni koti. Pientaloasumisen ihanteet arkkitehtuuri- ja sisustusjulkaisuissa 1950–1960-luvuilla. (Modern Home. Single-family housing ideals as presented in Finnish architecture and interior design magazines in the 1950s and 1960s.) on Friday 8 December 2017.
Opponent: PhD, docent Timo Tuomi, Espoo City Museum
Custos: prof. Aino Niskanen, Aalto University Department of Architecture
The discussion will be in Finnish.
There was a remarkable change in Finnish single-family housing architecture in 1950s and 1960s. Low, single-storey houses with big windows, access from living room to the garden, sliding doors and open fireplaces entered the architecture field after the type-planned houses of post-war period. International influences especially from United States, Denmark and Sweden can be seen in the design of the houses. Industrial pre-fabricated production replaced handcraft. The garden city Tapiola, housing exhibitions, atrium- and row houses, futuristic material and form experiments, modularity and standardized house types are describing the period.
The dissertation studies through material found in the publications how the ideals for modern living were built in Finland in the 1950s and 1960s. The research material consists of journals which were published in Finland in the 1950s and 1960s and dealt with housing: Arkkitehti, Kaunis koti, Kotiliesi and Avotakka and the exhibition catalogues of the Finnish architecture exhibitions Suomi rakentaa.
The research answers the questions:
What was typical of Finnish single-family housing architecture during those decades?
How did the magazines describe and create the single-family housing ideals in the 1950s and 1960s?
The change in the role and the position of an architect in the design of single-family houses is also studied. Houses as architecture of everyday life and also as lived-in spaces have been among my preoccupations as well as the material forms they have taken.
The research shows that this genre of journalism was ruled by specialists in the 1950s and 1960s. The architecture of single-family houses was connected to urban planning. The houses situated freely according the landscape in 1950s but the grid plan returned and modularity and system thinking became important in housing design in 1960s. The architects showed to be more interested in city planning than designing houses at the end of 1960s. One remarkable feature of a modern home at the time was that the boundaries of private and public space became vague and less clearly defined, a phenomenon which is still ongoing in our time of digitalization and social media.
The dissertation notice and the published dissertation are placed for public display at the Learning Hub Arabia (Hämeentie 135 C, 5th floor, room 570), at latest 10 days before the defence date.