This dissertation reviews the literature of architecture and landscape history published in the period from approximately 1975 to 2008, to consider the role of landscape symbolism in explaining the aesthetic appeal of the house architecture of distinguished Finnish architect Alvar Aalto (1898-1976). Jay Appleton’s prospect-refuge theory—originally put forward to discuss the aesthetics of landscape and used by Grant Hildebrand to discuss Frank Lloyd Wright’s houses—is adopted as a ‘lens of landscape’ to consider the aesthetic appeal of Aalto’s 1953 Experimental House at Muuratsalo. It is hypothesized that landscape-symbolic elements in the composition of this well-known house may partly account for its aesthetic appeal. Aspects of nature, landscape and site appear to be incorporated and perceived in the house’s composition, along with arguably landscape-symbolic elements, leading to conclusions involving landscape as a factor in the aesthetic appeal of Aalto’s house.
University of Newcastle Research Higher Degree Thesis