Alvar Aalto built the summer house of Muuratsalo after a long bout of depression that began in 1949 with the death of his first wife, Aino Marsio-Aalto. In 1952, while building the Town Hall of Säynätsalo, he met Elsa Mäkiniemi, a young assistant in charge of supervising the work who would become Elissa Aalto. In the course of the boat trips they made to visit the site, they found the perfect place in which to spend their summers, a five hectare lot that was a property of the firm Ahlström Oy, one of the architect’s major clients.
Located some thirty minutes by car from the Nautical Club of Säynätsalo, it was on a crest of a small projection on the rocky coast of the island of Muuratsalo, which could only be reached from Paijanne Lake. For this Aalto designed a small motorboat in which he experimented with several kinds of wood fit for naval construction. The curvature of the hull of the boat, named Nemo propheta in patria (no one is a prophet in his own land), was calculated to make it easy to berth along the island’s shallow banks... [+]