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Paimio Armchair 41

c. 1932

by Alvar Aalto
for Artek

Paimio Armchair 41

by Alvar Aalto
for Artek

or Call to Order

The Paimio Armchair 41 designed by Alvar Aalto in 1932 was created for the inte­rior of a sana­to­rium in the Finnish city of Paimio and is consid­ered one of Aalto’s masterpieces. 

Combin­ing a tradi­tional outline with a light, organic form, this revo­lu­tion­ary inter­pre­ta­tion of the club chair set new stan­dards in modern furni­ture design. Fixed to the frame at only four points, Armchair 41’s suspended seat appears to float and provides an astound­ing degree of elas­tic­ity. Since wood changes over time, the armrests are formed from a single piece that is then split in half, ensur­ing that as Paimio” ages, it remains perfectly balanced. 

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Alvar Aalto

Finland (1898–1976)

Finnish icon Alvar Aalto helped popularize organic forms, natural materials, and intuitive functionality in architecture and design. His travels throughout Europe with his wife Aino Marsio in the 1920’s and 1930’s exposed him to modernism, a style in which he ultimately left a lasting impact.

Designing residences and public buildings, Aalto treated each structure as a work of art. He designed everything inside, including the furniture and lighting. His furniture work, always both aesthetically appealing and remarkably user-friendly, came to take on a life of its own. Artek was founded in 1935 to produce and market Aalto’s designs.

Aalto came to be associated with his preference for and experimentation in wood, a material that was profuse in Finland. His famous Paimio chair features a seat made of a single piece of undulating bent plywood. Aalto also produced work in glass; his curvilinear vases for Iittala are an icon. Aalto’s designs for stacking stools, chairs, tables, and more continue to be manufactured by Artek.

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