Article Paimio Sanatorium under Construction
Ark-byroo Architects, Kustaankatu 3, FI 00500 Helsinki, Finland; [email protected]ﬁ
Received: 30 August 2018; Accepted: 7 November 2018; Published: 9 November 2018
Abstract: Alvar Aalto created innovative architecture in his breakthrough work, Paimio Sanatorium, located in Southwestern Finland and designed between 1928 and 1933. This empirical case study looked at the iconic piece of architecture from a new angle by implementing the actor-network theory (ANT). The focus was on how the architecture of the sanatorium came to be. A detailed description of the chronology and administration of the building process enabled observing on the role of the agency of the architect. The study surveyed the cooperation, collaboration, and decision making of the agency during the construction period. The ﬁrst part of this paper focused on the relations and conditions of producing the sanatorium and analyzed the building through drawings and archive material; the second part linked to the actor-network theory of Bruno Latour and included a discussion on how Aalto managed to bring along the other actors. The study clearly showed the importance of a collaborative effort in a building project. The most special architectural solutions for Paimio Sanatorium, a demanding institutional building project, came into being in circumstances where the architect managed to create a viable network that merged collective competence with material factors.
Keywords: Alvar Aalto; Modernism; Paimio Sanatorium; Finland; Bruno Latour; actor-network theory; history of technology; history of architecture; building history
1. Introduction Alvar Aalto created innovative architecture in his breakthrough work, Paimio Sanatorium, located in Southwestern Finland and designed between 1928 and 1933 (Figures1 and2). His fellow Siegfried Giedion canonized the sizeable institutional building by evaluating it as one of the three most important of the inter-war period in the extended edition of the Time, Space and Architecture (Giedion  1949). This empirical case study was an attempt to look at the iconic piece of architecture from a new angle by implementing the actor-network theory (ANT) to architectural research. The focus was on how the architecture of the sanatorium came to be. A detailed description of the chronology and administration of the building process by using archive material enabled observation on the role of the agency of the architect. The paper surveyed the cooperation, collaboration, and decision making of the agency of the architect. The focus was on the construction period, between the initial design stage and the completed building project. The ﬁrst part of this paper focused on the relations and conditions of producing the sanatorium and analyzed the building through drawings and archive material; the second part linked to the actor-network theory of Bruno Latour and included a discussion on how Aalto managed to bring along the other actors.
Arts 2018, 7, 78; doi:10.3390/arts7040078 www.mdpi.com/journal/arts ArtsArts 2018 2018, 7,, 7x;, x;doi: doi: FOR FOR PEER PEER REVIEW REVIEW 2 of2 of 19 19 solvingsolving practical practical problems problems and and is is concurrent concurrent with with architecture architecture (Colquhou (Colquhoun n 1962). 1962). Hence, Hence, both both Arts 2018, 7, 78 2 of 19 architecturearchitecture and and a abuilding building designs designs are are inevitably inevitably cultural cultural objects, objects, tied tied to to time time and and place. place.
FigureFigureFigure 1. 1. 1.Site SiteSite plan plan plan showing showing showing the the the main main main building building building and and its its its wings wings wings (A (A–D), (A–D),–D), the the the Junior Junior Junior Physicians Physicians’ Physicians’ and’ and AdministrativeAdministrativeAdministrative Director Director’sDirector’s ’sterraced terracedterraced house househouse facing facingfacing the thethe hospital hospitalhospital entrance entranceentrance (E) (E)(E) and andand workers workers’workers’ apartment’ apartmentapartment buildingbuildingbuilding (F). (F).(F). Detail Detail of of ofdrawing drawing drawing No. No. No. 50 50-759, 50-759,-759, the the drawing the drawing drawing has has been hasbeen edited. been edited. edited. Alvar Alvar Aalto Alvar Aalto Museum AaltoMuseum Museum.. Used. Used byUsedby permission permission by permission.. .
FigureFigureFigure 2. 2. 2.The The m mainmainain building building ground ground floor ﬂoorfloor plan plan of of the the the competition competition-stage competition-stage-stage design design of of the the Paimio PaimioPaimio SanatoriumSanatoriumSanatorium from from from 1929. 1929. The The patients’patients patients’ roomsrooms’ rooms werewere were located located located along along along the the the 100-m 100 100-m long-m long long corridor corridor corridor of theof of the A-wing. the A A- - wing.Thewing. B-wing The The B - Bhousedwing-wing housed housedmostly mostly common mostly common common functions functions functions such as such the such dining as as the the hall dining dining and hall the hall and doctors’ and the the doctorsreception doctors’ ’ reception area. The top C-wing was a serving wing with a kitchen and a staff dormitory. Drawing area.reception The toparea. C-wing The top was C- awing serving was winga serving with wing a kitchen with and a kitchen a staff and dormitory. a staff dormitory. Drawing No. Drawing 50-25. No. 50-25. Alvar Aalto Museum. Used by permission. AlvarNo. 50 Aalto-25. Alvar Museum. Aalto Used Museum. by permission. Used by permission.
This study attempted to mobilize ANT to discuss the relationship between architecture and technology. Architecture as an applied form of art expresses itself symbolically. A building is a Arts 2018, 7, 78 3 of 19
“resulting construct of many heterogeneous ingredients, a long process, many trades and subtle coordination necessary to achieve such a result” (Latour 2003, p. 87). It also forms a framework for solving practical problems and is concurrent with architecture (Colquhoun 1962). Hence, both architecture and a building designs are inevitably cultural objects, tied to time and place. Aalto drew inﬂuences from the culturally-radical Modernist discourse during the sanatorium design period and got an invitation to join CIAM in 1929. He aimed to incorporate the international intellectual culture into his professional domain (Pelkonen 2003, p. 9). Since the beginning of his career, Aalto was an active writer. Even so, CIAM made a profound impact on Aalto as he now became acquainted with the already renowned ideologists such as Walter Gropius and Le Corbusier. Aalto started domesticating new concepts both in the architectural media and in the daily press in his home country. Also, his style of life, which he brought up in some articles, emphasized modernity. Through these actions, he became considered a spokesperson for the new Continental architecture trends in Finland in the turn of the 1930s. Certain technological systems in construction, such as the concrete frame, electricity, air conditioning, and lifts, developed rapidly in the inter-war period in Europe, and architects faced new challenges. The areas of expertise of engineers and architects began to differ from each other. However, architects still held the position of top experts in the major building projects. The client of the Paimio Sanatorium project, the Federation of Municipalities of Southwestern Finland, had set a Building Board and Building Committee to take care of the decision-making processes during the construction period. Aalto became a specialist member of these decision-making bodies and a supervisor of the highest rank. Additionally, his agency signed a contract for the architectural and interior design work. In this dominant role, Aalto also contracted some of the notable specialist engineers and manufacturers directly. In some cases, the designing engineers became part of the process through contractors. In the 1930s, Aalto had promoted the project vigorously in the architectural press. Aalto’s articles and design efforts revealed his areas of interest, whereas the close reading of the minutes of the Building Board and Building Committee meetings of the project exposed the critical questions that caused debates. These two matters shaped the direction of this study. Few researchers of architecture have mobilized actor-network theory. Latour himself, together with architecture professor Albena Yanneva, co-edited an article dealing with the problem of buildings looking desperately static. Their article aimed to make visible the movement of architecture, meaning the view of a structure as a series of transformations. They also made a point on “the Euclidean space of drawings being a subjective and knowledge-centered way of grasping entities, which does no justice to the ways humans and things get by in the world.” (Latour and Yanneva 2008). The Norwegian design historian and professor Kjetil Fallan made several essential distinctions in his discussion of the potential of ANT in architectural research. He summarised that the most apparent site for action in architecture is in planning, design, and construction, and the other would be architecture in use and mediation (Fallan 2008, pp. 81, 93). The Swedish architect professor Mattias Kjärrholm has pointed out the duality of spatial artifacts, such as buildings, in his dissertation. Spatial objects can be seen both as networks or actants. In the ﬁrst case, they are outcomes of translations made within a system of actors. In the second one, they have an active role for example in shaping social processes (Kjärrholm 2004, pp. 124–54; Fallan 2008, pp. 84–87). Similar remarks of the dual roles of architecture have been made by other scholars of architectural history and theory, only outside the framework of the ANT (e.g., Adams 2008, p. xvii; Forty 1984, pp. 61–93). Kjärrholm also criticised Latour’s preoccupation of controversies as the location of dynamics and suggested that ANT could be a helpful perspective to study the ordinary (Kjärrholm 2004, p. 152; Fallan 2008, pp. 84–85). Latour’s research fellow Michael Callon’s term translation focuses on the communication strategies in the construction of facts and artifacts (Callon 1986). The concept has inspired the Norwegian political scientist, professor Marianne Ryghaug, in her study of green architecture. She could provide detailed knowledge of the values and actions of architects in design and building projects. She has also pointed Arts 2018, 7, x; doi: FOR PEER REVIEW 4 of 19
2. Producing the Sanatorium
2.1. The Reinforced Concrete Frame Full structural systems of reinforced concrete were not commonplace in public buildings in the earlyArts 2018 1930s, 7, 78 in Finland. Aalto’s articles revealed his deep engagement in working with the relatively4 of 19 new material (See for example Aalto 1928, 1933). The winning competition entry of the Paimio Sanatorium project embraced reinforced concrete structures and was one of the first distinctly Modernistout some outcomeswinners of of any less architectural successful translations competition (Ryghaug in Finland. 2002 The; Fallan tectonic 2008 challenge, p. 86). Thewas Swedishsublime forprofessor a young in architecturalarchitect (Figure history 3). andAs architects theory Claes were Caldenby not trained recently to make emphasized the structural the need calculations, to consider Aaltoarchitecture needed and to find engineering a skillful alongsidecollaborator with in the the extensive humanities sanatorium and social project. sciences Aalto in theconvinced research the of Buildingconstruction Board history to contract in Nordic an independent countries. expert as a structural designer. Allowing the contractor to make the structural calculations was a more widespread practice at that time. 2. Producing the Sanatorium The previous joint projects of Aalto and the construction designer Emil Henriksson had been successful.2.1. The Reinforced The professional Concrete Frame respect must have been mutual, as Aalto’s innovative projects had allowed Henriksson to show his skills and present the outcomes in the media. Henriksson’s article on steelFull concrete structural slabs systems without of reinforcedbeams showed concrete pride were in their not commonplace collective work in on public the Turun buildings Sanomat in the newspaearly 1930sper in building Finland. (Henriksson Aalto’s articles 1927). revealed Henriksson, his deep inengagement turn, was in well working connected with the in relatively the business new circlesmaterial of (See Turku, for example where Aalto Aalto had 1928 only, 1933 recently). The winning moved. competition The influential entry contractor of the Paimio Arvi Sanatorium Ahti was Henrikssonproject embraced’s business reinforced partner, concrete and they structures had collaborated and was one on of several the ﬁrst majo distinctlyr developments Modernist in winners Turku. Moreover,of any architectural the men were competition brothers in-in Finland.-law. The tectonic challenge was sublime for a young architect (FigureAalto3).’ Ass agency architects contracted were not Henriksson trained to make in May the 1930 structural directly, calculations, after the Aalto Building needed Board to ﬁnd had approveda skillful collaboratora budget for inthe the work. extensive It is possible sanatorium that Henriksson project. Aalto had convinced consulted theAalto Building already Board during to thecontract competition an independent 18 months expert earlier. as a The structural contract designer. tender round Allowing followed the contractor some weeks to make after the contracting structural thecalculations designer. was a more widespread practice at that time.
FigureFigure 3. 3. TheThe patient patient wing wing building building site site in inautumn autumn 1930. 1930. The TheA-wing A-wing pillars pillars on the on external the external wall line wall wereline were cast castin situ in situand and protected protected by bya bricklayer. a bricklayer. Photographer Photographer Alvar Alvar Aalto Aalto or or Aino Aino Marsio Marsio-Aalto.-Aalto. PhotoPhoto No. No. 50 50-003-079.-003-079. Alvar Alvar Aalto Aalto Museum. Museum. Used Used by by permission permission..
InThe Ma previousy 1930, thejoint Building projects Board of Aalto published and the construction a call for tenders, designer and Emil received Henriksson nine bids had of been the constructionsuccessful. The of the professional reinforced respect concrete must skeleton. have been It decided mutual, to as base Aalto’s its decision innovative on the projects most hadeconomical allowed priceHenriksson and started to show negotiations his skills andwith present three contractors. the outcomes A contrac in the media.tor who Henriksson’s shared the third article place on steelwas concrete slabs without beams showed pride in their collective work on the Turun Sanomat newspaper building (Henriksson 1927). Henriksson, in turn, was well connected in the business circles of Turku, where Aalto had only recently moved. The inﬂuential contractor Arvi Ahti was Henriksson’s business partner, and they had collaborated on several major developments in Turku. Moreover, the men were brothers-in-law. Arts 2018, 7, 78 5 of 19
Aalto’s agency contracted Henriksson in May 1930 directly, after the Building Board had approved a budget for the work. It is possible that Henriksson had consulted Aalto already during the competition 18 months earlier. The contract tender round followed some weeks after contracting the designer. In May 1930, the Building Board published a call for tenders, and received nine bids of the construction of the reinforced concrete skeleton. It decided to base its decision on the most economical price and started negotiations with three contractors. A contractor who shared the third place was left out of the talks. Tektor, a signiﬁcant company, had made the most economical bid. In the contract negotiations, which Aalto led, it came out that Tektor had not taken into account the masonry work of the chimney and would need to raise the bid. Still, Tektor’s revised proposal was the least expensive and the Board decided to accept it. At this point, the building contractor and master builder Arvi Ahti, whose bid had been placed ﬁfth, informed that he had made a mistake in his calculations by including the masonry work, and was interested in lowering the price. The Committee considered that Ahti’s announcement did not lead to further measures. Aalto continued the negotiations with Tektor until it turned out that the concrete work of the rear wall of the sun balcony was not included in their bid as it was only presented in Aalto’s ﬁnal drawings. The minutes do not reveal whether Aalto presented new plans at this point. When no agreement was reached, the negotiations ended. Finally, the Board accepted Ahti’s proposal, as it was feasible in their view (Heikinheimo 2016, pp. 174–81). The construction of the reinforced concrete frame commenced and was completed in November. The frame construction was based on architectural drawings, work speciﬁcation, and structural drawings, which were made after the contract was signed. Henriksson’s design work proceeded simultaneously with the molding of the reinforced concrete frame. Aalto and Henriksson supervised the work as fully authorized representatives of the client (Heikinheimo 2016, pp. 174–81). The Building Board did not debate the fact that the reinforced concrete frame exceeded its budget quite substantially. After all, Aalto’s solution, which allowed sunlight to ﬂood deep into the building frame, appealed to the medical experts. He used section drawings to show medical experts how rays of sun reached the farthest corner within the structure (Figure4). As Aalto had succeeded in ﬁrst persuading the medical specialist of the superiority of his concrete frame design, the lay members of the Building Board voiced no doubts on this issue. The solution became consolidated. Interestingly, another illustration exempliﬁes the architectural intention of making a cutting-edge structural solution; in other words, another aspect of the same design (Figure5).
2.2. The Horizontal Health Window The patient room windows were an essential and salient architectonic feature in the sanatorium for the legislator. A new Act which guaranteed 50 percent state ﬁnancing to public sanatorium projects came into force in 1930, and the Paimio Sanatorium, ofﬁcially the Sanatorium of South-Western Finland, was one of the ﬁrst ones to receive this subsidy. The patient room window design underwent a complete overhaul and changed from a steel window to a hybrid wood and metal window. Aalto also developed the window as a holistic concept from the competition phase onwards. Aalto’s approach was comprehensive, and he integrated both the heating and ventilation systems into the solution. The ﬂoor-reaching structure also allowed for amounts of daylight, beneﬁting the patient. In Aalto’s words, the patient room window had the following characteristics, among others: “Morning sun on the patients’ beds; afternoon sun on the front part of the room, in front of the window. Double-glazed windows in wood with L-shaped frames, with permanent ventilation through glass panes with vertical openings. Exposure to the sun can be adjusted using external blinds ... ”(Aalto 1932a, p. 80). In the same article, Aalto discussed the idea of continuous ventilation, albeit the timber-framed window was not designed to be kept continuously open in Finnish weather conditions. With this rhetorical gesture, he wanted to demonstrate his expertise in the overlapping trends in healthcare and architecture. Arts 2018, 7, x; doi: FOR PEER REVIEW 5 of 19 left out of the talks. Tektor, a significant company, had made the most economical bid. In the contract negotiations, which Aalto led, it came out that Tektor had not taken into account the masonry work of the chimney and would need to raise the bid. Still, Tektor’s revised proposal was the least expensive and the Board decided to accept it. At this point, the building contractor and master builder Arvi Ahti, whose bid had been placed fifth, informed that he had made a mistake in his calculations by including the masonry work, and was interested in lowering the price. The Committee considered that Ahti’s announcement did not lead to further measures. Aalto continued the negotiations with Tektor until it turned out that the concrete work of the rear wall of the sun balcony was not included in their bid as it was only presented in Aalto’s final drawings. The minutes do not reveal whether Aalto presented new plans at this point. When no agreement was reached, the negotiations ended. Finally, the Board accepted Ahti’s proposal, as it was feasible in their view (Heikinheimo 2016, pp. 174–81). The construction of the reinforced concrete frame commenced and was completed in November. The frame construction was based on architectural drawings, work specification, and structural drawings, which were made after the contract was signed. Henriksson’s design work proceeded simultaneously with the molding of the reinforced concrete frame. Aalto and Henriksson supervised the work as fully authorized representatives of the client (Heikinheimo 2016, pp. 174–81). The Building Board did not debate the fact that the reinforced concrete frame exceeded its budget quite substantially. After all, Aalto’s solution, which allowed sunlight to flood deep into the building frame, appealed to the medical experts. He used section drawings to show medical experts how rays of sun reached the farthest corner within the structure (Figure 4). As Aalto had succeeded in first persuading the medical specialist of the superiority of his concrete frame design, the lay members of the Building Board voiced no doubts on this issue. The solution became consolidated. Interestingly,Arts 2018, 7, 78 another illustration exemplifies the architectural intention of making a cutting-6edge of 19 structural solution; in other words, another aspect of the same design (Figure 5).
FigureFigure 4. 4. AaltoAalto could could convince convince the the skeptic skeptic medical medical experts experts of the of quality the quality of his of design his design by using by a using section a drawing.section drawing. In the diagram, In the sun diagram, rays penetrate sun rays deep penetrate into the deepbuilding into frame the buildingof the B-wing frame and of leave the B-wingno dark corners.and leave As nosunlight dark corners.and fresh As air sunlightwere part and of the fresh cure air for were lung part tuberculosis of the cure patients, for lung Aalto tuberculosis’s solution seemed a purpose-built concept. Drawing No. 50-764. Alvar Aalto Museum. Used by permission. patients, Aalto’s solution seemed a purpose-built concept. Drawing No. 50-764. Alvar Aalto Museum. Arts 2018Used, 7, byx; doi: permission. FOR PEER REVIEW 6 of 19
Figure 5. TheThe perspectiveperspective drawingdrawing illustratesillustrates Aalto’sAalto’s architecturalarchitectural intention,intention, aa newnew kindkind of of hanging hanging reinforced concrete slabslab ofof thethe diningdining hall.hall. TheThe wallwall ofof thethe mezzaninemezzanine ﬂoorfloor facing facing the the dining dining hall hall was was composed of glass, which made thethe structurestructure looklook cantilevered,cantilevered, ﬂoatingfloating andand weightless.weightless. DrawingDrawing No.No. 5050-226-226 detail. Alvar Aalto Museum. Used by permission permission..
2.2. TheAalto Horizontal was more Health interested Window in using industrially-produced, shallow-proﬁle steel windows than standardThe patient wooden room windows windows (Figure were6a,b an andessential Figure and7). salient In the earlyarchitectonic stages of feature the work, in the the sanatorium Building forBoard thehad legislator. agreed Aon new the use Act of which steel windows guaranteed on 50 the percent condition state that financing they were to Finnish.public sanatorium However, projectsFinns needed came to into import force the in steel 1930, proﬁles, and the and Paimio in the Sanatorium, recession of offic theially early the 1930s, Sanatorium the public of projects South- Westernhad to favor Finland, the local was productionone of the first and ones workforce. to receive For this this subsidy. reason, The Aalto patient never room invited window tenders design from underwent a complete overhaul and changed from a steel window to a hybrid wood and metal window. Aalto also developed the window as a holistic concept from the competition phase onwards. Aalto’s approach was comprehensive, and he integrated both the heating and ventilation systems into the solution. The floor-reaching structure also allowed for amounts of daylight, benefiting the patient. In Aalto’s words, the patient room window had the following characteristics, among others: “Morning sun on the patients’ beds; afternoon sun on the front part of the room, in front of the window. Double-glazed windows in wood with L-shaped frames, with permanent ventilation through glass panes with vertical openings. Exposure to the sun can be adjusted using external blinds …” (Aalto 1932a, p. 80). In the same article, Aalto discussed the idea of continuous ventilation, albeit the timber-framed window was not designed to be kept continuously open in Finnish weather conditions. With this rhetorical gesture, he wanted to demonstrate his expertise in the overlapping trends in healthcare and architecture. Aalto was more interested in using industrially-produced, shallow-profile steel windows than standard wooden windows (Figures 6a,b and 7). In the early stages of the work, the Building Board had agreed on the use of steel windows on the condition that they were Finnish. However, Finns needed to import the steel profiles, and in the recession of the early 1930s, the public projects had to favor the local production and workforce. For this reason, Aalto never invited tenders from window manufacturers abroad, whose products he had used in his former work. Made-to-order steel windows manufactured in Finland out of imported profiles too expensive. When the final decision was made not to equip the patient rooms with steel windows, Aalto developed a new type of wooden window that employed some steel profiles. The window resembled remotely a traditional ventilation window, known as the “health window,” only this time it was horizontal in orientation.
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window manufacturers abroad, whose products he had used in his former work. Made-to-order steel windows manufactured in Finland out of imported proﬁles too expensive. When the ﬁnal decision was made not to equip the patient rooms with steel windows, Aalto developed a new type of wooden window that employed some steel proﬁles. The window resembled remotely a traditional ventilation ArtsArts 2018 2018, 7, x;, 7 doi:, x; doi:FOR FOR PEER PEER REVIEW REVIEW 7 of 719 of 19 window, known as the “health window,” only this time it was horizontal in orientation.
(a) (a) (b) (b) FigureFigureFigure 6. 6.( a6.)( aThe()a The) The vignette vignette vignette image image image of of theof the thecompetition competition-stage competition-stage-stage asymmetrical asymmetrical asymmetrical designdesign design inin 1929 1929in 1929 depicts depicts depicts the the ﬁrst the firstversionfirst version version of the of the ofpatient the patient patient room room window. room window. window. Detail Detail of Detail drawing of drawing of drawing No. 50-655, No. No. 50- the655, 50-655, drawing the the drawing drawinghas been has has cropped. been been cropped.AAM;cropped. AAM; (b) AAM; One (b step) One(b) laterOne step step inlater the later in design the in thedesign process, design process, process, the standardthe thestandard standard drawing drawing drawing shows shows shows that that the that the bottom thebottom bottom edge edgeofedge theof the windowof thewindow window section section section was was level. was level. Thelevel. The architect The architect architect also also changed also changed ch theanged the shape theshape ofshape the of ﬂoor theof thefloor so floor that so that itso curved that it it curvedupwardscurved upwards upwards near the near window. near the the window. Visually window. Visually the Visually window the the window reached window reached the reached ﬂoor. the Drawing the floor. floor. Drawing50-395; Drawing the 50 drawing- 395 50-;395 the; has the drawingbeendrawing cropped. has hasbeen been Alvar cropped. cropped. Aalto Alvar Museum. Alvar Aalto Aalto UsedMuseum. Museum. by permission. Used Used by permissionby permission. .
Figure 7. The working drawing shows the realized version of the patient room window. T-profiles FigureFigure 7. 7.The The working working drawing drawing shows shows the the realized realized version version of of the the patient patient room room window. window. T-proﬁles T-profiles supported the two mullions of the middle row of the nine-section window. In the top and bottom rows, supportedsupported the the two two mullions mullions of of the the middle middle row row of of the the nine-section nine-section window. window. In In the the top top and and bottom bottom rows, rows, the mullion ran through the structure. Drawing No. 50-321. The drawing has been edited. Alvar Aalto thethe mullion mullion ran ran through through the the structure. structure. Drawing Drawing No. No. 50-321. 50-321. The The drawing drawing has has been been edited. edited. Alvar Alvar Aalto Aalto MuseuMuseum. Usedm. Used by permissionby permission. . Museum. Used by permission.
TheThe medical medical specialists specialists of theof the sanatorium sanatorium project project preferred preferred health health windows, windows, which which architects architects hadhad used used in schools,in schools, hospitals, hospitals, and and other other public public buildings buildings since since the the mid mid-19th-19th century. century. By Byreiterating reiterating thisthis concept concept and and defining defining his hiswindow window as aas “ healtha “health window, window,” Aa” ltoAa ltomanaged managed to affirm to affirm the the opinion opinion of of medicalmedical experts. experts. Aalto Aalto’s unusual’s unusual window window design design required required the the use use of aof few a few steel steel components, components, which which entitledentitled him him to talkto talk about about an an innovation innovation and and a hybrid. a hybrid. The The material material hybrid hybrid was, was, for for Aalto, Aalto, a a conceptualconceptual victory victory over over a tra a ditionaltraditional wooden wooden window. window. Inventing Inventing a new a new concept concept made made the the solution solution interestinginteresting to theto the profession profession of architects.of architects. The The media media was was a must a must-win-win battle battle for foran architectan architect wanting wanting
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The medical specialists of the sanatorium project preferred health windows, which architects had used in schools, hospitals, and other public buildings since the mid-19th century. By reiterating this concept and deﬁning his window as a “health window,” Aalto managed to afﬁrm the opinion of medical experts. Aalto’s unusual window design required the use of a few steel components, which entitled him to talk about an innovation and a hybrid. The material hybrid was, for Aalto, a conceptual victory over a traditional wooden window. Inventing a new concept made the solution interesting to the profession of architects. The media was a must-win battle for an architect wanting to position himself as an avant-gardist. The Spanish-American architectural theorist Beatriz Colomina found inArts her 2018 study, 7, x; doi: that FOR thePEER production REVIEW of architecture shifted from the building site to the8 of immaterial 19 domain of the media (Colomina  1998, pp. 14–15). The Paimio example showed that Aalto consciouslyto position used media himself to as mediate an avant his-gardist. understanding The Spanish of- architecture.American architectural theorist Beatriz Colomina found in her study that the production of architecture shifted from the building site to the Whileimmaterial the ﬁnal domain window of the media was not (Colomina idealfrom  the 1998, architect’s pp. 14–15). perspective,The Paimio example it is likely showed to that have been an acceptableAalto consciously compromise. used media Doctors to mediate had requestedhis understanding that the of architecture. unsymmetrical steel windows not be to reach toWhile ﬂoor the level final for window reasons was of not hygiene. ideal from Aalto the architect changed’s perspective, the windows it is likely accordingly to have been so that the bottoman edge acceptable of all windowcompromise. sections Doctors was had level requested (Figure that6 b).the Heunsymm alsoetrical changed steel thewindows shape not of be the to ﬂoor so that it curvedreach to upwards.floor level for Visually, reasons of the hygiene. window Aalto reached changed the the windows ﬂoor in theaccordingly realized so version. that the bottom The solution edge of all window sections was level (Figure 6b). He also changed the shape of the floor so that it fulﬁlled the hygienic standards of the doctors, and the architect could preserve some essential design curved upwards. Visually, the window reached the floor in the realized version. The solution fulfilled features.the This hygienic example standards is illustrative of the doctors, of how and the designers architect work: could preserve Aalto reframed some essential the problem design features. and found an unexpectedThis example new solution, is illustrative which of combined how designers seemingly work: different Aalto reframed starting the points.problem The and case found also an showed the unpredictabilityunexpected new of solution, the evolution which combined of technological seemingly different solutions—at starting the points. beginning The case ofalso a showed design project, it is impossiblethe unpredictability to know the of the outcome. evolution Besides, of technological without solutions understanding—at the beginning how things of a design came project, to be, the ﬁnal artifact,it in is thisimpossible case, the to know window, the outc givesome. no Besides, clues to without the process understanding of which how they things are the came result to be, (Figures the 6–8). final artifact, in this case, the window, gives no clues to the process of which they are the result We need to look profoundly to the process to unveil the motives. (Figures 6–8). We need to look profoundly to the process to unveil the motives.
FigureFigure 8. The 8. window The window looked looked like like a traditionala traditional double-glazeddouble-glazed system, system, but butwas wasmaterially materially a hybrid a hybrid combining wood and metal. Also, the horizontality of the ventilation system was unusual. Photo No. combining wood and metal. Also, the horizontality of the ventilation system was unusual. Photo No. 50-003-360. Alvar Aalto Museum. Used by permission. 50-003-360. Alvar Aalto Museum. Used by permission.
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2.3. The Integrated Patient Room When taking a look at the patient room, the overall design comes across as a most harmonious one. One is tempted to think that the Building Board commissioned Aalto for the interior design, including all its parts. However, close reading of the archive material revealed that this is not the case. For example, the client split the furniture purchases into parts with no holistic idea (Table1). This chapter disclosed Aalto’s tactics used to bring about the coherent whole. The concept of “minimum apartment” inspired Aalto to study the needs of the patients in this hospital project. In line with the Fordian ethos, Aalto was conscious of the role of the users of health care services, the patient-consumers, and placed them in his design focus. Therefore, Aalto’s creation was socially more radical than other Finnish hospitals built in the same period. His original solutions created a sense of individuality to enrich the everyday environment in an empathetic manner. In the small room of two patients, making space-saving design solutions was necessary. Aalto multiplied the available space by design: he used multi-function artifacts such as the bedside lamps, and objects that overlap spatially, such as the bedside table. In short, he approached the small dwelling as a holistic problem. He also created several standard drawings related to the patient room. Again, the harmonious image of the furnished hospital room tells nothing of the process that preceded the result (Figures8 and9).
Table 1. Patient room furnishings.
Loose Built-in-Furniture Loose Furniture Chair Furniture Furniture Commissioned Commissioned Purchased Manufacturer Purchased from the Architect from the Architect Standard Standard
The wardrobes × Huonekalu- ja (Figure 10) rakennustyötehdas 1
The table × Huonekalu- ja (Figure 10.) rakennustyötehdas 1 The bedside table Huonekalu- ja & cupboards × rakennustyötehdas 1 (Figures9 and 11)
The bed × August Louhen (Figures9 and 12) rautasänkytehdas 1
The chair × Huonekalu- ja (Figure 13) rakennustyötehdas 1 1 The two companies, Huonekalu- ja rakennustyötehdas, and August Louhen rautasänkytehdas (The Steel Bed factory of August Louhi), were collaborators among them and with Alvar Aalto already before the Paimio Sanatorium project.
Aalto was responsible for purchasing the furnishings of the hospital. He divided the furniture into four classes in the acquisition programme. Only some of these categories were part of the design remit of Aalto’s ofﬁce. The Building Board’s aimed at an appropriate and economic result. In principle, it was not interested in an artistically-coherent whole. In the spirits of the Frankfurt housing schemes, Aalto was keen to realize the patient room, including the tiniest of details. Arts 2018, 7, x; doi: FOR PEER REVIEW 9 of 19
2.3. The Integrated Patient Room When taking a look at the patient room, the overall design comes across as a most harmonious one. One is tempted to think that the Building Board commissioned Aalto for the interior design, including all its parts. However, close reading of the archive material revealed that this is not the case. For example, the client split the furniture purchases into parts with no holistic idea (Table 1). This chapter disclosed Aalto’s tactics used to bring about the coherent whole. The concept of “minimum apartment” inspired Aalto to study the needs of the patients in this hospital project. In line with the Fordian ethos, Aalto was conscious of the role of the users of health care services, the patient-consumers, and placed them in his design focus. Therefore, Aalto’s creation was socially more radical than other Finnish hospitals built in the same period. His original solutions created a sense of individuality to enrich the everyday environment in an empathetic manner. In the small room of two patients, making space-saving design solutions was necessary. Aalto multiplied the available space by design: he used multi-function artifacts such as the bedside lamps, and objects that overlap spatially, such as the bedside table. In short, he approached the small dwelling as a holistic problem. He also created several standard drawings related to the patient room. Again,Arts 2018 , the7, 78 harmonious image of the furnished hospital room tells nothing of the process 10 that of 19 preceded the result (Figures 8 and 9). Arts 2018, 7, x; doi: FOR PEER REVIEW 10 of 19
Table 1. Patient room furnishings.
Built-in- Loose Furniture Loose Furniture Chair Commissioned Furniture Furniture Commissioned Purchased Manufacturer from the Purchased from the Standard Architect Standard Architect The Huonekalu- ja wardrobes × rakennustyötehdas 1 (Figure 10) The table Huonekalu- ja × (Figure 10.) rakennustyötehdas 1 The bedside table & Huonekalu- ja cupboards × rakennustyötehdas 1 (Figures 9 and 11) The bed August Louhen (Figures 9 and × rautasänkytehdas 1 12) The chair Huonekalu- ja × (Figure 13) rakennustyötehdas 1 1 The two companies, Huonekalu- ja rakennustyötehdas, and August Louhen rautasänkytehdas (The FigureFigureSteel 9. 9.Bed A Anewly factory newly completed completedof August patient Louhi), patient room were room is harmonious collaborators is harmonious and among holistically and holisticallythem designed. and with designed. Photo Alvar No. Aalto Photo 50- 003already No.- 361.50-003-361.before Alvar the Aalto Alvar Paimio Museum. Aalto Sanatorium Museum. Used by project. Usedpermission by permission..
FigureFigure 10. 10.The The wardrobe wardrobe and and the the ﬁxed fixed table table photographed photographed in thein the museum museum room room of theof the sanatorium sanatorium in in 2015.2015. Photo Photo Ark-byroo Ark-byroo Architects. Architects. Used Used by by permission. permission.
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Figure 11. TheThe bedside table and cupboard. Photo Photo Ark Ark-byroo-byroo Architects. Used Used by permission permission..
Figure 12. The bed designdesign waswas moremore nuanced nuanced than than the the realized realized version, version, which which is visibleis visible in in Figure Figure5 on 5 onpage page 7. Drawing7. Drawing 50-182. 50-182. Alvar Alvar Aalto Aalto Museum. Museum. Used Used by by permission. permission.
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FigureFigure 13. 13. (a(a) )The The hybrid hybrid chair chair with with steel steel tube tube legs legs and and a abent bent plywood plywood seat seat is is Aalto Aalto’s’s design design from from the the latelate 1920s. 1920s. Aalto Aalto used used this ModernistModernist chairchair withwith a a cantilevered cantilevered structure structure in in his his standard; standard (b; )(b Photo) Photo No. No.105890. 105890. Alvar Alvar Aalto Aalto Museum. Museum. Used Used by permission. by permission (b) The. (b) small, The small, stackable stackable armchair armchair of the patient of the patientroom wasroom of was wood, of wood, which which as a local as a material local ma wasterial cheaper was cheaper than metal. than metal. Photo Photo No. 105931. No. 105931. Alvar Alvar Aalto AaltoMuseum. Museum. Used Used by permission. by permission.
AaltoRealizing was theresponsible holistic designfor purchasing required the a great furnishings deal of effort of the from hospital. the architect He divided from the these furniture starting intopoints. four By classes maneuvering in the acquisition the purchasing programme. processes, Only some he was of ablethese to categories support his were intentions part of the by design always remitinvoking of Aalto the lowest’s office. price The from Building the preferred Board’s manufacturers. aimed at an appropriate Aalto knew and the economic rules, and result. it was hisIn principle,job to invite it was tenders. not interested In addition in an to artistically this position-coherent and the whole. resources In the of spirits his architectural of the Frankfurt ofﬁce, housing he also schemes,formed partAalto of was many keen local to collaborativerealize the patient networks, room, which including had the taken tiniest shape of duringdetails. previous projects. Therefore,Realizing for the instance, holistic the design manufacture required of a thegreat model deal wardrobesof effort from for the the architect patient rooms from these at Huonekalu- starting points.ja Rakennustyötehdas By maneuvering (thethe purchasing Furniture and processes, Building he Workwas able Factory) to support was completed his intentions in record by always time. invokingAalto showed the lowest great price creativity from inthe mobilizing preferred hismanufacturers. social networks Aalto and knew physical the rules, means. and it was his job to inviteAalto’s tenders. underlying In addition strategy to this was position to launch and histhe furnitureresources intoof his serial architectural production—something office, he also formedthat previous part of many research local had collaborative already suggested, networks, and which the had present taken study shape further during conﬁrmedprevious projects. (See for Therefore,example Standertskjöld for instance, the 1992a manufacture, 1992b). of In the Paimio, model wardrobes Aalto aimed for to the use patient standardized rooms at Huonekalu products for- jahospital Rakennustyötehdas purchases, and (the at the Furniture same time and to Building design the Work very Factory) standards. was Regulated completed products in record by time. other Aaltomanufacturers showed great were creativity available, in butmobili theyzing did his not social pass networks musterwith and physical Aalto. His means. likely motive was to introduceAalto’ hiss underlying designs into strategy serial productionwas to launch and his get continuousfurniture into income serial from production manufacturing—something industries. that previous research had already suggested, and the present study further confirmed (See for example Standertskjöld2.4. The District 1992a, Infrastructure 1992b). In Paimio, Aalto aimed to use standardized products for hospital purchases,On the and timeline, at the same the timebuilding to design design the preceded very standards. the composition Regulated of products district by systems, other manufacturersincluding heating, were water, available, sewage but they and electricity.did not pass No muster engineers with with Aalto. knowledge His likely of motive these was rapidly to introduceevolving his ﬁelds designs participated into serial in theproduction early, decisive and get stages continuous of the project. income Thefrom expertise manufacturing of the architectural industries. agency and the hospital specialists of the State Medical Board, who played an essential role in the 2.4. The District Infrastructure stabilizing of the design solution, was of general nature. As the different ways out of the district systemsOn the were timeline, not assessed the building in the early design stages preceded of the buildingthe composition project, later of district no real systems, alternatives including existed. heating, water, sewage and electricity. No engineers with knowledge of these rapidly evolving fields participated in the early, decisive stages of the project. The expertise of the architectural agency and
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the hospital specialists of the State Medical Board, who played an essential role in the stabilizing of the design solution, was of general nature. As the different ways out of the district systems were not assessed in the early stages of the building project, later no real alternatives existed. None of the stakeholders demanded that the installation systems be designed concurrently with the architectural design. As a result, the knowledge of different specialists was not at the disposal of the architect until the construction had progressed to execution. The Building Board had initially requested offers on water, sewage, and heating systems, without a reference plan. The poorly-prepared first contracting round resulted in non-comparable bids and no contract. Instead, the Building Board commissioned a program for the water, sewage, and heating systems from one of the contractors. The second round of tendering was useful as it was Artsbased2018 , on7, 78 the plan. However, another company, Plumbing Company Onninen, got the contract.13 of 19 Collaboration between the architect and Radiator, who designed the water, sewage, and heating Nonesystems, of the had stakeholders been productive demanded (Figure that 14). the In installationturn, the poor systems cooperation be designed between concurrently Aalto and withOnninen the architecturalresulted in excess design. billing As a about result, many the knowledge details, such of as different the water specialists traps for was the notwashbasins at the disposal and spittoons of the architectin the patient until therooms. construction The architect had seemed progressed to have to execution. lost his interest in developing this area any further whenThe he Building needed to Board work had with initially a partner requested without offers mutual on water, understanding. sewage, and No heating new ideas systems, emerged, without and a referencethe focus plan. was on The performance poorly-prepared only. ﬁrst contracting round resulted in non-comparable bids and no contract.Interestingly, Instead, the theBuilding electrical Boardinstallations, commissioned which saw a program a rapid improvement for the water, in sewage, the early and 1900s, heating were systemsnot of interest from oneto Aalto of the in contractors.this project, except The second for the round light fittings of tendering and lifts. was However, usefulas Aalto it was was based sensitive on theto the plan. architectural However, anotheruse of light company, (Norvasuo Plumbing 2009). CompanyAnother unusual Onninen, detail got is the that contract. the ventilation Collaboration design quietly emerged as part of the heating plan. Nobody specifically designed it. Although Aalto was aware between the architect and Radiator, who designed the water, sewage, and heating systems, had been productiveof the division (Figure of Europe 14). In into turn, town the poorand country cooperation (Aalto between 1932b), Aaltoin the andPaimio Onninen project, resulted he did innot excess grasp the potential of district systems. Perhaps he had not personally seen any real examples of the billing about many details, such as the water traps for the washbasins and spittoons in the patient architectural treatment of infrastructure systems. The one-year delay of the overall schedule was rooms. The architect seemed to have lost his interest in developing this area any further when he unfortunately due to the prevailing confusion in the design of the district systems. needed to work with a partner without mutual understanding. No new ideas emerged, and the focus was on performance only.
FigureFigure 14. 14.A A radiator radiator design design by by Alvar Alvar Aalto Aalto proves proves his his interest interest to to look look at at the the technological technological apparatus apparatus andand installations installations moremore profoundly profoundly and and to to understand understand the the way way they they function. function. This This radiator radiator design design continuedcontinued thethe work Aalto Aalto had had started started with with the the designing designing contractor contractor Radiator. Radiator. Drawing Drawing 50-202. 50-202. Alvar AlvarAalto Aalto Museum. Museum. Used Usedby permission by permission..
Interestingly,It was more natural the electrical for Aalto installations, to treat the which installation saw a technology rapid improvement—the water, in sewage, the early heating, 1900s, wereventilation, not of interest and electrical to Aalto systems in this— project,on the exceptsame scale for the as lightthe patient ﬁttings room, and lifts. rather However, than on Aaltothat of was the sensitiveentire building to the architectural or district. useThe ofresolution light (Norvasuo of the question2009). Another of installation unusual detailsystems is thaton the ventilationlevel of the design quietly emerged as part of the heating plan. Nobody speciﬁcally designed it. Although Aalto was aware of the division of Europe into town and country (Aalto 1932b), in the Paimio project, he did not grasp the potential of district systems. Perhaps he had not personally seen any real examples of the architectural treatment of infrastructure systems. The one-year delay of the overall schedule was unfortunately due to the prevailing confusion in the design of the district systems. It was more natural for Aalto to treat the installation technology—the water, sewage, heating, ventilation, and electrical systems—on the same scale as the patient room, rather than on that of the entire building or district. The resolution of the question of installation systems on the level of the building or the area created difﬁculties, mainly because the client assumed that the architect would be able to plan the building-level solutions on his own from the very beginning of the design process, Arts 2018, 7, 78 14 of 19 and without input from experts or discussion of the options to hand. In other words, the architect received no specialist support in this area until a later stage of the process. There was no readiness to identify any alternative ways of organising the installation systems until some of the decisions had already been made, thus reducing the remaining options. The installation systems, as distinct systems, were therefore developed for the building, without any architectonic treatment based on mutual interaction, except for a few isolated cases of collaboration.
3. Mobilizing ANT
3.1. Creating Hybrid Networks As the “captain” of his team, Aalto took an active role in the contracting negotiations of the sanatorium project. He clearly understood the weight of collaboration. He managed to contract partners that worked well together in the demanding task of erecting the reinforced concrete structure. It was not simple to create the cooperation pattern. Aalto needed to maneuver and stretch the limits of the integrity of the building project to gain his goals. He succeeded in bringing in some of his trusted partners, but as a consequence, he lost some of the Building Board’s trust. Aalto, with his architectural vision; Henriksson, with his understanding of reinforced concrete structures; Ahti, with his track record as a builder of concrete structures; and reinforced concrete as the material, formed a network that was capable of action. The process was carried out as a joint undertaking by the three specialists, in good spirits and according to schedule, producing an impressive tectonic outcome. The operation succeeded in integrating knowledge of the material into the architectural expression. A design beneﬁts from inspiring ideas that are tested and subsequently adjusted. The story of Paimio Sanatorium also revealed that the water, sewage, and heating pipe systems, alongside the electrical and ventilation installations, were relatively new to Aalto, and he could not manage their design without input from specialists. Action, according to ANT, is taken by a hybrid network consisting of both social and material actants. In architecture, an engineer’s knowledge of how a material behaves, and an architect’s understanding of its character, are both essential ingredients in architectural creation. Latour’s abstract thinking embodies the idea of general symmetry, in which the object is an active entity participating in the construct. According to Latour, the effect is not one-directional. In line with the theme of reciprocity, this study discussed how the current material reality affected the design solution. For example, the Building Board was convinced of the demanding nature of the realization of the reinforced concrete frame and the imperative of a collaborative process, since it went on to select only the ﬁfth-lowest quote. A reinforced concrete building represented new technology, which resulted in more challenging decision-making. However, the Building Board never once questioned the feasibility of the reinforced concrete frame or the ﬁnal price, which exceeded the budget by 40 percent. Latour’s view that a project will never amount to anything if its idea remains pure is also fascinating from the perspective of architecture, as it is totally opposite to le Corbusier’s thinking (Colomina  1998). For Latour, a plan can only materialise if it is exposed to and intermingles with other elements. Only when the resulting artifact becomes unquestionably established, so that this synthesis is forgotten, can an idea be perceived as “pure.” When examining the relationship between architecture and technology, sticking to the sphere of ideas purely would mean forgetting about the collaboration and the materiality.
3.2. On the Locality of Knowledge The set of Paimio Sanatorium standard drawings can be interpreted through Latour’s theory of the locality of scientiﬁc knowledge (Latour 1993). First, Alvar Aalto insisted on including standard Arts 2018, 7, 78 15 of 19 drawings among the working drawings in his design contract. It was somehow necessary for him to establish the concept of the standard to the client, as the idea was, in this context, in all likelihood entirely new for the latter. The architect created many standard drawings in conjunction with the design work for Paimio Sanatorium; a practice that the contract thus legitimised, and which he had already earlier started. Aalto’s intention behind this course of action was to bring an exciting phenomenon, the task of developing a universal solution to a design problem, into his own designer’s studio and under his scrutiny. Latour has described Pasteurs’ socially successful method in parallel terms. In this way, he, the scientist, could control the circumstances before taking the ﬁndings out of the laboratory. In Pasteur’s case, it was essential to reproduce the laboratory practices outside the laboratory in favorable, still half-controlled circumstances to show the desired results. In Aalto’s case, the next step was to take the designs out from the studio to a trusted producer, not just any manufacturer. Neither Pasteur or Aalto could know in advance if their invention would work in circumstances they did not fully control. In Aalto’s case, entering large-scale industrial production would have been the ideological climax. Latour’s thesis of the locality of knowledge and knowledge management seemed to be highly accurate in the Paimio Sanatorium (Latour  1999, pp. 141–70, especially p. 167).
3.3. The Hidden Collective During the Paimio years, Aalto was in constant interaction with CIAM. He became an ambassador for the international scientiﬁc design methodology in Finland. He was, for example, rapid to apply his learnings of the 1929 CIAM conference in Helsinki to an exhibition called “The Dwelling for Minimum Existence” held in 1930. Albeit the Paimio project was socially innovative in many aspects, Aalto’s writings were not as radical as, for example, the Czech Karol Teige’s, who advocated for a collaborative design method (See for instance Teige 2001; Mumford 2000, p. 53). Aalto himself ﬁrst promoted the Paimio project and his other designs in the Finnish professional and daily media, and also in the Nordic press. Aalto and his like-minded colleagues together were successful in deﬁning and stabilizing the meaning of this building in the architectural press. The news considered the sanatorium as something unique in the design of institution buildings, albeit during the construction phase there was no discussion of whether the environment was better for curing patients than other tuberculosis sanatoriums. Aalto managed to position himself as a specialist of modern architecture. Due to an amplifying snowball effect, he soon became recognised for his work simultaneously both domestically and internationally. Aalto was keen to make sure that the press reported the progress of his hospital project in a favorable light. Aalto became a celebrated ﬁgure, while the other participants to the project did not actively appear in the publicity, although Aalto mentioned some of them. Still, a unique institutional building could only emerge from the interplay between many views and the existing material conditions. The impact of the collective is particularly interesting in the case of a structure that holds a canonised status. When discussing Aalto’s buildings, we often fail either to see or to understand the input of other designers and specialists. In a Latourian reading, the collective of the Paimio Sanatorium became visible through its innovator. The signiﬁcant contributions of the different stakeholders were forgotten. The credit for the success, which was the result of the work by the entire collective, went to Aalto alone. Latour’s description of the organisation was well-suited for the case study, as in architecture, the role of the designer is traditionally, and often disturbingly, assigned to a single individual. Anyone familiar with the ﬁeld will know how necessary it is to view architecture as a collective and an applied undertaking.
3.4. Translating Meanings Michel Callon’s concept of translation offered a framework to understand why the architect justiﬁed his design solutions differently to different audiences. Aalto’s method was simple—he Arts 2018, 7, 78 16 of 19 was smart to differentiate between the relevant target groups. He only needed to understand what motivated each group and to accordingly interpret the same design differently each time. The design contracts signed between Aalto and the Building Board did not guarantee that the interiors would be furnished with pieces designed by Aino and Alvar Aalto. The Building Board’s decision to select the furnishings of the patient room was not aesthetic but pecuniary. Therefore, the artistically-accomplished designer was not successful merely because of his superior sense of the aesthetic, but also for his resourcefulness. For the Building Board of the Paimio Sanatorium project, the ends justiﬁed the means, so they gave Aalto considerable latitude to maneuver, which enabled him to bring in, one contract at a time, his old business partners as suppliers to the hospital project. In the case of the dining hall mezzanine ﬂoor, Aalto used drawings for translation. A section proved to the medical experts the beneﬁts of the solution for the treatment, whereas the perspective drawing of the same room showed the architectural articulation. ANT has been criticized for lacking an understanding of the irrational and symbolic (Vandenberghe 2002). However, architecture is a system of symbolic expression. The study of the Paimio Sanatorium shows that Aalto could achieve his artistic goals by translating the meaning in an appropriate way for each group of stakeholders. Similarly to the study of Marianne Ryghaug, (Ryghaug 2002), this survey also revealed unsuccessful translations, which were as exciting as the successes from the research point of view.
4. Materials and Methods Latour has urged the researcher to observe the details in light and map out the chain of events. His example directs our attention to what networks reﬂect of themselves to the outside world. One of the critical issues is to delimit the object of study. The anthropological approach applied in this inquiry enabled the research object itself to direct the researcher to the salient themes of study. By analyzing Aalto’s writings as well as his drawings, the researcher formed an opinion on which aspects of the design were vital for the architect from the perspective of architectural theory. The study also tracked the decision-making processes of the Building Board and identiﬁed many topics that it discussed intensely, and that caused conﬂict. The study followed these points of disconnect, which Latour has dubbed as trials. From the perspective of the execution of hospital designs, one of the two archives of vital importance was the archive of the hospital itself. The minutes of the Building Committee and the Building Board were records of decision-making during the building process. Aalto’s drawings and photographs from the construction period and of the ﬁnished building, as well as his correspondence, were kept in the Aalto archive, which was the second of the two principal sources of information. The ﬁle also contained certain other documents in addition to those produced by the architects, such as engineers’ drawings and product catalogues. The study compiled a robust description of each building component, or technological system, from the basis of the minutes of the Building Board and the Building Committee, the written contracts, and the inspection records, in chronological order. The researcher looked more profoundly to each building part and compared its narration with other source materials, such as drawings, speciﬁcations, and the building itself. The minutes revealed, among other things, the intentions of different parties, and answered questions such as who proposed what, whether someone objected to something, whether the administrative bodies altered the plans, in what way the solutions and decisions evolved, and who was entitled to act as the representative of these bodies in different situations. Architectural drawings and other design documents were grouped into categories to match the focal points in the study, such as the designs relating to the windows. The categories included drawings from the competition phase to working drawings, and from elevation drawings to the smallest details and standard drawings. The researcher arranged the material in chronological order. This method was useful for understanding the development and its challenges. As the next step, the researcher juxtaposed these considerations against the analysis of the minutes and the workshop drawings. Arts 2018, 7, 78 17 of 19
Through this method, the study traced which building parts the architect afforded the most design effort to, and who participated in the process. One of the gains of this study was to point out what the controversies of the building period were. Besides, it was in the confrontations which made the stakeholders reveal their intentions explicitly. The research revealed when the architect needed to mobilize his power and the tactics he used. Understanding the controversies helped to construct an idea of the interests of the actants. Following this interaction uncovered the breakpoints between architecture as an expressive and a building as merely a problem-solving system.
5. Conclusions ANT proved a functional perspective to review architecture in a case study context. An exciting building enabled discussion on the relation between architecture and technology, as it was not necessary to question the architectural quality of the building. This survey focused on the design and construction phase, and especially the agency of the architect. The actors inﬂuencing the solutions were both social and material. The material came across the solutions, for example, through the know-how of engineers and the local circumstances. Another equally important potential viewpoint would be to regard the building after its completion when users modify it, and how the structure changes the social practices and experiences of its users. Architecture as an applied art that combines ethical, ideological, social, economic and material pursuits seems to be a potential ground to mobilize ANT. The ANT lens made it possible to open new perspectives even on a canonised piece of architecture. Now we understand better how these architectural solutions came into being. The agency of the architect did not lead to integration of large technological systems into architecture evenly. Good cooperation was a prerequisite for innovative solutions. The study clearly showed the importance of a collaborative effort in an architectural project. Latour refers to strong networks formed by social and material actors that together possess the capacity to act. The more in-depth insight into the prerequisites for successful architecture that the study has provided could be useful today. The most famous architectural solutions for Paimio Sanatorium, a demanding institutional building project, came into being in circumstances where the architect managed to create a viable and robust hybrid that merged collective competence with material factors. Creating such a context today could lead to successful innovation of the current environments.
Funding: The article based on the doctoral dissertation “Architecture and Technology: Alvar Aalto’s Paimio Sanatorium” at Aalto University in 2016 of the author (available online at https://aaltodoc.aalto.ﬁ/handle/ 123456789/19607). The National Post-Graduate Programme for Architectural Research, the Finnish Ministry of Education, and the Finnish Cultural Fund funded the research. Acknowledgments: This paper was derived from the Aalto University doctoral dissertation “Architecture and Technology: Alvar Aalto’s Paimio Sanatorium” by the author. The work in progress was commented by Simo Paavilainen, to whom the author gratefully thanks. Architect Noora Laak also provided the writer with useful remarks. Editing this article was useful to sharpen the perspective of the dissertation. Conﬂicts of Interest: The author declares no conﬂict of interest. The funders had no role in the design of the study; in the collection, analyses, or interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript, or in the decision to publish the results.
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