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Aalto designed the Baker House in 1946 while he was a professor at the Massachussets Institute of Technology, where the

dor itory is located! It recei"ed its na e in 19#$, after the MIT%s &ean of 'tudents ("erett Moore Baker was killed in an airplane crash that year! The dor itory is a cur"ing snake slithering on its site and reflects strategy, world! any of Aalto%s ideas of for al all o"er the aking it a dor itory that is )oth inha)ited and studied )y students fro

*The site runs along the north side of the +harles ,i"er and fro seek to find ways of

the "ery start Aalto%s plans

a-i the "iew of the ri"er for e"ery student! (arly sketches show

clusters of roo s facing south and, )ecause a si ple single/sided sla) would not contain sufficient roo s, se"eral ways of increasing the density0 )y parallel )locks in echelon, )y fan/ shaped ends, and )y the 1giant gentle polygon* resol"ing itself into a sinuous cur"e, that was finally adopted!*


The )uilding%s undulating for

also does not su)3ect the "iews of the roo s to )e oriented at esta)lished a wide "ariety of roo shapes, shapes per floor that although si ilar, still re6uired

right angles towards the )usy street! The for creating 44 roo s and 55 different roo

distinct designs for the place ent of )uilt/in furniture!

2 7lickr / ( ily 8eoff

The plan is co posed around a single/loaded corridor! Aalto refused to design north/facing roo s since he wanted ost roo s to ha"e a "iew of the ri"er fro the east or west, and thus proposed enlarging the roo s on the western end into large dou)le and triple roo s that recei"e )oth northern and western light! Instead of roo s, a stairway syste s is housed on the north side of the )uilding with an uno)structed "iew of its surroundings!

2 7lickr / ( ily 8eoff

Built with dark red rustic )ricks, the roo is a cal

odular pieces co e together to create sweeping cur"es on roo ! The co on o"e ent of the dor itories! The lower floor

that 3u-tapose the solid li estone of the attached rectilinear co static space in co parison to the

is lit with circular lights and the upper floor has "iews of the ri"er! 'tructural colu ns are co"ered in plastered on the lower floor and as they rise up towards the second le"el, ti )er cladding allows the to for a relationship with the trees! a3or reno"ations since it was co pleted in 1949, aking the )uilding wheelchair accessi)le, a

The Baker House went through four reno"ation of the

including a replace ent of all the windows,

echanical syste s, and a restoration of )irch furnishings! Howe"er, despite

these reno"ations, the attention to detail in the Baker House dor itory )rought the essence and for ality of Aalto%s work into A erica!


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