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Welcome to another travel special in our summer series designed to help you to make the most of a week(end) away. If you missed our previous editions on Spain, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Houses to Stay in, you can find them on our homepage.

Meanwhile we continue our journey in the Nordic countries where a variety of wonderful modern house museums are ready to welcome you in Norway, Denmark, Finland and Estonia! Among the 20th-century gems to explore there are several Aalto houses, the futuristic Futuro in Helsinki, or take a trip to Arne Korsmo's magnum opus in Oslo and make some fascinating discoveries. We’ve arranged the houses from youngest to oldest. Even if you decide to have a staycation this summer, you can still travel the houses from home. Enjoy! 

Note: Plan your visit(s) well in advance, as house museums can have irregular visiting times and coronavirus guidelines often require online reservation.
Villa Kokkonen, Alvar Aalto, Järvenpää, Finland, 1969
On the shore of Lake Tuusula, Villa Kokkonen aims to connect nature and human everyday life with two forms of art: music and architecture. The 250 square metre building was composer Joonas Kokkonen's home and atelier for 27 years.The courtyard is dominated by three structures: a pergola covered in creeper, a swimming pool in the shape of a grand piano and a log sauna.
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Futuro House, Matti Suuronen, Espoo, Finland, 1968
The Futuro is an elliptical prefabricated house designed by architect Matti Suuronen. It captures the experimental forms, new materials and optimistic ideas of the space-age architecture and design of the late 1960s. The WeeGee Exhibition Centre in Finand has acquired and restored the first ever mass-produced Futuro. It is open to the public from May to September.
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Didrichsen House, Viljo Revell, Helsinki, Finland, 1956
The Didrichsen Art Museum was founded by art collectors Marie-Louise and Gunnar Didrichsen in conjunction to their home. Gunnar Didrichsen was a Danish businessman who settled in Finland in 1927 and married Marie-Louise Granfelt in 1939. Architect Viljo Revell first designed a villa for the family and later on a museum wing to house the growing art collection.
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Studio Aalto, Alvar Aalto, Helsinki, Finland, 1955
The studio was completed for use by Alvar Aalto’s architect’s office in 1955, within walking distance of Aalto’s home. "You can’t create architecture in an office environment," said Aalto, and indeed this building is more like a villa than a conventional working environment. The studio curves around a stepped, amphitheatre-style courtyard sheltered from the wind.
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Muuratsalo Experimental House, Alvar Aalto, Säynätsalo (Jyväskylä), Finland, 1954
Alvar and Elissa Aalto designed and built a studio house including a separate sauna on the western shore of the Finnish island of Muuratsalo. It served both as a leisure home and as a test site. On the walls of the internal courtyard of the Experimental House, Aalto tested ceramic materials, brick types and sizes and the effect of different surfaces. 
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Arne Jacobsen's House in Klampenborg, Denmark, 1951
The house is part of the Søholm estate built 1945-1953 in three stages and with three types of houses all designed by Arne Jacobsen. The house was built as the architect's private house and studio. He moved here from his previous home in Charlottenlund and lived here until the time of his death in 1971. For information about guided tours, please contact
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Munch' House, Edvard Munch, Åsgårdstrand, Norway, 1947
Of all the places Munch lived and worked as an artist, it was maybe at Åsgårdstrand that he left his most visible trace. This is the only intact home of Munch remaining of the artist’s several houses, and the landscape remains similar to when Munch worked here. ‘Here I have painted for more than 20 years, some of my best paintings, including the sketches for Frieze of Life.’
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Finn Juhl's House, Charlottenlund, Denmark, 1942
Finn Juhl's House was opened to the public in 2008 as a part of Ordrupgaard Museum. The house is one of the finest examples of modernism in Denmark and was designed and decorated by the architect and furniture designer himself. The house is temporarily closed, while a new extension of Ordrupgaard is being built, designed by the Norwegian architects Snøhetta. They expect to reopen by New Year 2020-2021.
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Villa Stenersen, Arne Korsmo, Oslo, Norway, 1939
Villa Stenersen is one of the icons of Norwegian modernist architecture, designed by the internationally oriented architect Arne Korsmo. The villa was commissioned in 1937 as a private home and gallery for the stockbroker, art collector, and author Rolf E. Stenersen and his family. In 1974 Stenersen donated the house to the Norwegian government and it has been open to the public since 2000 .
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Villa Mairea, Alvar Aalto, Noormarkku, Finland, 1939
Villa Mairea was the residence of the progressive industrialist Harry Gullichsen and his wife Maire. It marks Aalto’s transition from mainstream modernism towards his own unique synthesis of the traditional and modern, organic and technological, structural and aesthetic, emotional and rational. A groundbreaking work, it's an experiment in modern lifestyle and architecture that represents a modern utopia. 
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The Aalto House, Alvar Aalto, Helsinki, Finland, 1936
The Aalto House at Riihitie 20 was completed as Aino and Alvar Aalto’s home and studio. Aalto’s architect’s office was in this building until 1955. Aino and Alvar Aalto designed the building, whose simple, natural materials soften the formal language of modern architecture. Designing their own home gave them an opportunity to make various structural and material experiments - notice the use of wood, brick and natural stone.
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Villa Tammekan, Alvar Aalto, Tartu, Estonia, 1932
You can stay overnight at the Villa Tammekann in Estonia and so experience all the unique qualities of this building by Alvar Aalto. Although staying at the house is primarily intended for university staff on work visits, Friends of the University and special groups interested in architecture are also welcomed. The house has two twin rooms and three single rooms. Accommodation includes breakfast and use of the sauna.
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The Vigeland Apartment, Oslo, Norway, 1930
In 1921, sculptor Gustav Vigeland signed an agreement with the City of Oslo. In return for promising the city his extensive collection after his death, he was given a large studio with an apartment. The studio would later become the Vigeland Museum, celebrating his work. The artist wanted to make his personal mark on the interior. Click on the link and then on the photo for more images.
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Arne Jacobsen's House in Charlottenlund, Denmark, 1929
The villa was built in 1929 by the architect Arne Jacobsen as his private residence. An extension was added in 1931 to house a private studio.  The house is Jacobsen's first example of a building that takes inspiration from international functionalism. For information about guided tours, please contact
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Gallen-Kallela Museum, Akseli Gallen-Kallela, Espoo, Finland, 1913
Artist Akseli Gallen-Kallela is best known for his illustrations of the Kalevala, the Finnish national epic. His work therefore contributed to the Finnish national identity. Gallen-Kallela studied art in Paris and was familiar with the European art world. His explorer’s soul took him to East Africa and the USA. He designed and built his studio and house between 1911 and 1913.
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Hvitträsk, Eliel Saarinen e.a., Luoma, Kirkkonummi, Finland, 1903
Hvitträsk was built by architects Herman Gesellius, Armas Lindgren and Eliel Saarinen. The main building of logs and natural stone, designed in the Nordic National Romantic style, served both as an architectural office and a home for Saarinen and Lindgren. It was also the boyhood home of architect Eero Saarinen, who made his reputation primarily in the USA. 

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Welcome to another country special in our summer series designed to help you make the most of a week(end) away. If you missed our previous instalments on France, the Netherlands and Germany, you can find them on our homepage. Let's continue our journey to Spain, where eight modern house museums are ready to welcome you! Explore Barcelona, a treasure trove of 20th-century masterpieces, or take a trip to the Basque Country.
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Continue your journey to France, where 13 modern house museum are ready to welcome you! How about visiting a pure Alvar Aalto in mint condition, near Paris? And of course you'll find Le Corbusier's Unesco-listed Villa Savoye among our member houses, along with the less famous, self-built retreat of Jean Prouvé in Nancy. 
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From the Amsterdam School to Postmodernism, our Dutch members number 20 wonderful homes by Rietveld, J.J.P. Oud, Brinkman & Van der Vlugt, and many more. Several are examples of social housing. The Rietveld Schröder House is a Unesco World Heritage monument, or spend the night in the Dijkstra House. The hidden gem is the private Van Schijndel House, open for visits by appointment, while the Wall House #2 is a great example of a conceptual home.
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Belgian architect Henry van de Velde has three houses to his name out of the 11 superb member houses in Germany. Taut’s Home in Hufeisensiedlung is a Unesco World Heritage monument where you can spend the night. Germany’s hidden gem is Haus Schminke in Löbau, where you can also stay. Haus Auerbach in Jena is a private house that’s open for visits, while in Berlin Georg Kolbe’s house is a great example of the artist’s home and studio.
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Always wanted to sleep in a museum? Now's your chance! Iconic Houses' members include museum homes that you can rent for a holiday. Imagine having one all to yourself, and getting to know it at your own pace. These houses have wonderful stories to tell. During a stay in one, you'll experience it almost exactly as the original residents did. Most were designed as weekend or holiday homes, meaning that their architects could focus on fun.
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The Iconic Houses Foundation, like many small businesses and non-profits, is in a precarious position due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Please donate to help us stabilize operations and recover from this crisis.
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