Armchair (cantilever wood)


Armchair 31/42 (1932), Alvar Aalto

Alvar Aalto (1898-1976) was a famous Finnish architect and designer and is mostly known for his natural and organic furniture and glassware designs. Instead of the tubular metal framing used by Bauhaus designers, Aalto preferred using wood for his furniture designs. Aalto’s use of plywood had enormous influence on other great designers such as Charles Eames and Arne Jacobsen.

Originally designed in 1932 for the Paimio Sanatorium, Aalto’s Armchair 31/42 was the world’s first wooden cantilever armchair. It had to be comfortable, yet light enough to be easily moved by patients. In 1935, Aalto formed the company Artek, together with his wife, Aino Aalto, to keep up standards of quality in production. Another great creation is Aalto’s Savoy vase, which also features on Wikiconic.

Also designed in 1932 for the Paimio Sanatorium, and although technically less progressive, Aalto’s Armchair 41 or ‘Paimio chair’ is considered his most iconic design:

Why on Wikiconic?
Photo credits
© Artek oy ab, Helsinki, Finland

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