One of the most beautiful chairs designed by Alvar Aalto
In 1928 Alvar Aalto and his wife Aino won the architectural competition to build a tuberculosis Sanitarium near the Finnish city of Paimio; construction (1929 – 33) had just begun when they were also commissioned to do the building’s interior design.
Alvar Aalto created in 1931 the Paimio chair, which was manufactured of bent plywood and laminated wood. The “Paimio” chair quickly became popular and was produced in large quantities. It is made of bent laminated veneer and is the result of numerous bending trials using birch wood that is in part naturally damp.
Who was its manufacturer?
Aalto’s bentwood furniture had a great influence on the American designers Charles and Ray Eames and the Finnish-born Eero Saarinen. In 1935 the Artek company was established in Finland to mass-produce and distribute wood furniture designed by Aalto and his wife, Aino. Most of their designs remain in production.
What made it special?
Aalto wanted to create for the sanatorium pieces of furniture which would promote with their functionalism, but also with their beauty, patients’ well-being. Beside the aesthetic reasons, the Paimio chair was designed also to make it easier for patients to breath.
How is made Armchair 41?
The chair’s framework consists of two closed loops of laminated wood, forming arms, legs, and floor runners, between which rides the seat—a thin sheet of plywood tightly bent at both top and bottom into sinuous scrolls, giving it greater resiliency. Inspired by Marcel Breuer‘s tubular-steel Wassily Chair of 1927—28, Aalto chose, instead, native birch for its natural feel and insulating properties, and developed a more organic form.
Which are its dimensions?
62.5 x 61 x 88; seat height 34 cms
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