Aalto 41 Paimio Armchair (1932)


From the very beginning of his career Alvar Aalto experimented with materials, especially wood, and even applied for patents for the bending of wood as applied in his furniture designs and as acoustic screens in his buildings. The Aaltos designed several different types of furniture and lamps for the Paimio …

From the very beginning of his career Alvar Aalto experimented with materials, especially wood, and even applied for patents for the bending of wood as applied in his furniture designs and as acoustic screens in his buildings. The Aaltos designed several different types of furniture and lamps for the Paimio Sanatorium (1929-33). The best known of the furniture pieces is his cantilevered birch wood “Paimio” Chair, which was specifically designed for tuberculosis patients to sit in for long hours each day. Aalto argued that the angle of the back of the chair was the perfect angle for the patient to breathe most easily. The design of the chair may have been influenced by Marcel Breuer’s metal Wassily Chair, though Aalto was generally negative towards metal furniture. The degree of bending of the wood tested the technical limits of that time. The Paimio Sanatorium’s design made Alvar Aalto famous worldwide as an architect, but it meant also the beginning of his career as a furniture designer. The chair is made from bent laminated birch with a solid birch frame. Manufacturer: Artek

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