About: Alan Hess

Alan Hess is an architect and author of 19 books on Southern California and Modern architecture, including Oscar Niemeyer Houses and Googie Redux: Ultramodern Roadside Architecture. He wrote this for Zócalo Public Square.

Posts by Alan

Posted in Architecture and Design, Art & Archives

Long Live Tiki, the Whimsical Soul of Midcentury Modern

3505 Artesia Blvd. in Some Los Angeles Apartments / Ed Ruscha
© Ed Ruscha

Tiki is the style that refuses to die, and its endurance tells us something about Southern California design. More»

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      Color for Healing

      This sanitorium (tuberculosis hospital) in Paimio, Finland, was designed by architect Alvar Aalto in the 1920s. Unlike many hospitals, it was full of bright colors—including welcoming yellow on the main stairs and calming green for ceilings above bedridden patients. Aalto even created special chairs to open the chest and speed healing.

      The building’s colors were mostly whitewashed later in the 20th century, but now—due to a grant from the Getty Foundation as part of its Keeping It Modern initiative—its colors are being reconstructed and the building preserved for the future.

      More of the story: Saving Alvar Aalto’s Paimio Sanitorium

      Pictured: Paimio Sanatorium, patients’ wing and solarium terraces. Photo: Maija Holma, Alvar Aalto Museum. A color model for Paimio Sanatorium interiors by decorative artist Eino Kauria. Photo: Maija Holma, Alvar Aalto Museum, 2016.Paimio chairs (Artek no 41) in the Paimio Sanatorium lecture room, 1930s. Photo: Gustaf Welin, Alvar Aalto Museum. Aino Aalto resting in a chair on the solarium terrace. Photo: Alvar Aalto, Alvar Aalto Museum, 1930s. Main stairs of Paimio Sanatorium. Photo: Maija Holma, Alvar Aalto Museum.

      04/30/16

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