Villa Didrichsen was designed by architect Viljo Revell (1910–1964). The first part of the house was completed in 1957 as the home for the Didrichsen family. Later Revell designed an extension for the growing art collection. The museum wing was completed in 1964.
Viljo Revell was influenced by Alvar Aalto and Le Corbusier, among others. He was known for respecting human aspects in his planning, and his style included elements of modernism, rationalism and concrete brutalism. The concrete brutalism is especially evident in the horizontal construction of the extension.
REVELL'S FAMOUS BUILDINGS
Viljo Revell´s most known creation is the City Hall of Toronto, constructed simultaneously with the Didrichsen museum wing. Other buildings designed by Revell are Hotel Palace in the South Harbour of Helsinki, City Center of Vasa, Kansallis-Osake-Pankki offices in Lahtis, City Center of Helsinki and Vatiala Chapel in Tampere. Revell´s breakthrough was the Glass Palace in Helsinki in 1935, which he designed together with his fellow students Niilo Kokko and Heimo Riihimäki. The Glass Palace was the first clearly functionalistic building in Helsinki.
VILLA DIDRICHSEN AND THE EXHIBITION WING
The Didrichsen Art Museum was constructed in two phases, and both sections were designed by architect Viljo Revell. The first building was completed in 1957. The Didrichsen family moved from the center of Helsinki to Kuusisaari the following year, 1958. The architect and his team also designed the interior of the home, including the library, dining room furniture, built-in cabinets, aquarium, a built-in toy train in the children´s playroom and the bedrooms with their combinations of bed and bedside table.
The most frequently used material is teak, which can be seen in the ceiling, cabinets, doors and other details. The four children lived in the bedrooms on the upper floor in age sequence, and the parents had their bedrooms downstairs, including bathrooms, sauna, service areas and a living room.
Large windows from floor to ceiling combine the exterior with the interior in a discreet manner. The house is surrounded by a lush park adorned with sculptures. On the recommendation of Viljo Revell Marie-Louise and Gunnar Didrichsen acquired the sculpture Reclining Figure on Pedestal by Henry Moore in 1961 to decorate the courtyard. The sculpture is the first by Henry Moore in Finland.
The museum wing and the Villa are united forming a U-shaped courtyard. The horizontal construction of the museum wing extension represents architect Viljo Revell´s concrete brutalism style. In connection to the construction of the museum wing a swimming pool was added. Revell had a vision of the surface reflecting the architecture and the surrounding nature.