401 Chair (1933)

This armchair was designed by Alvar Aalto in 1932. He recreated the familiar cantilevered shape. The back of the 401 armchair is slightly tilted to provide adeguate support for head and neck.

Artek Aalto armchair 401, black
Aalto armchair 401-by Alvar Aalto for Artek in 1933.

image source: https://www.finnishdesignshop.com/furniture-chairs-armchairs-lounge-chairs-aalto-armchair-401-black-p-6622.html


Who designed 401 Chair?

Alvar Aalto was a highly talented architect and an eager spokesman for the international modernist movement. Aalto’s designs were innovative and radical and became known for his experimental approach to bending wood, which greatly influenced American designers Charles & Ray Eames and Finnish-born Eero Saarinen. His style became known as humanist modernism. Alvar Aalto’s dialogue with nature, architecture, design and the human being has become a living legacy.

Alvar Aalto

image source:https://www.finnishdesignshop.com/furniture-chairs-armchairs-lounge-chairs-aalto-armchair-401-black-p-6622.html

What are its characteristics?

401 Chair is a high-backed classic armchair designed by Alvar Aalto in 1933. As other pieces of furniture designed by Aalto, also the 401 armchair is characterized by the L- construction.

Artek Aalto armchair 401, black
Aalto armchair 401- by Alvar Aalto for Artek in 1933.

image source: https://www.finnishdesignshop.com/furniture-chairs-armchairs-lounge-chairs-aalto-armchair-401-black-p-6622.html

To bend the leg, a piece of straight, solid birch is sawn open at the end in the direction of the fibres, forming the shape of a fan. Thin pieces of plywood are then glued in the grooves. This structure makes it possible to bend the wood by heating or steaming the desired angle and when dry it will have a very strong texture.

Artek Aalto armchair 401, black

Artek Aalto armchair 401, black

images source: https://www.finnishdesignshop.com/furniture-chairs-armchairs-lounge-chairs-aalto-armchair-401-black-p-6622.html

What are its dimensions?

  • Width 62,5 cm
  • Depth 80 cm
  • Seat height 40 cm
  • Height 105 cm

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