Alvar Aalto - Finland
Paimio Staff Housing (Nurses Home)

1960 - 1963

From 1960 to 1963 Alvar Aalto had the possibility to design and build further staff housing in the neighbourhood of the famous Paimio Tuberculosis Sanatorium. The nurses home, also known as the
'hall of vipers', is a two-storey ensemble of buildings embedded into the landscape between the trees. In plan the building is made of four parts, each part joined to the next one by an drawn-in linking element. This staff housing scheme differs from the other designs by Alvar Aalto for the sanatorium staff from the 1930s. It features a pitched roof instead of the otherwise flat roofs and the detailing does not focus nearly as much on metal. As a consequence the Nurses Home is quite far from the modernist architectural language of the other constructions. The name `hall of vipers" is derived from the fact, that the volumes gently wriggle across the terrain.