Celebrating Alvar Aalto’s Inimitable Designs 122 Years Later
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Celebrating Alvar Aalto’s Inimitable Designs 122 Years Later

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By Samantha Daly
Born February 3 in Kuortane, Finland, Alvar Aalto is known for designs that harmoniously fuse functionality and grace.

Though he dabbled in many art forms—from glassware to architecture—Alvar Aalto always infused his signature style into his designs. The result was simple, fresh furnishings, lighting, and textiles that solidified his role as one of the great modern designers of the 20th century. Though he passed away in 1976, the products of his brilliant mind remain for generations of modernists to enjoy. Below, we’ve gathered a few of our favorite Aalto pieces so you, too, can bring a bit of his designerly wit into your home.

Artek Siena Bag
Bag Siena is a fun, modern accent, whether toting it to the market or to the beach. The 'Siena' pattern was originally designed by Alvar Aalto in 1954. Intended as a pattern for fabrics, Aalto wanted to see the print used freely for different purposes.
Artek Stool 60
An eloquent humanist, as well as one of the great architects and designers of the 20th century, Alvar Aalto breathed life and warmth into modernism, placing emphasis on organic geometry, natural materials and respect for the human element.
Artek Paimio Armchair
As part of the permanent collection in the Museum of Modern Art, the Paimio Chair is an icon in furniture design. The chair was created by Alvar Aalto in 1932 as part of the furniture he designed for the tuberculosis sanatorium in the city of the same name.
Iittala Aalto Vase
A classic piece that remains a modern Scandinavian design staple to this day. The Iittala Aalto Vase was originally designed by Alvar Aalto in 1936, immediately revolutionizing the art of glassblowing with its intricate, fluid folds of glass.
Artek Table 90A
In 1935, Finnish architect and designer Alvar Aalto created Table 90, whose honeycomb core and solid birch frame lend strength without adding weight.
Artek Umbrella Stand 115
The Artek Umbrella Stand 115 has a triangular shape that is both visually appealing and useful for tucking away into the corners of entryways. The stand is composed of two bent birch triangles connected by three solid birch pegs.
Artek A110 Hand Grenade Pendant Light
A110 Hand Grenade Pendant Light was originally designed for the building of the Finnish Engineers' Association (Alvar Aalto 1948 - 1953). The pendant lights beauty is formed by two cylinders, one inside the other, and the light is reflected upwards.
Aalto (Basic Art Series 2.0)
Published by Taschen, Aalto covers the career of the Finnish architect and designer Alvar Aalto (1898–1976). Aalto became famous for his warm, curving and natural style that characterizes his buildings, furniture, luminaires and tableware.
Artek Paimio Poster
Bring a piece of iconic design to your home. The Artek Icon Poster called the Paimio presents the chair designed by Alvar Aalto in 1931. The Paimio armchair is one of the most beautiful chairs designed by Aalto and the chair was created as a part of the Paimio Senatorium's overall project.
Alvar Aalto Chair 69
Artek’s Aalto chair 69 is a design classic by Alvar Aalto from 1935. Chair 69 is one of Aalto’s best known dining chairs, and its vivid character suits easily any room of the house. The chair uses Aalto’s L-leg structure, which allows the legs to be attached directly to the seat.
Artek Siena Wool Blanket
A Nordic brand with clarity, functionality and poetic simplicity at its heart, Finnish label Artek arrives at END. this season.
A covetable new study on the work of Finnish architect Alvar Aalto, one of the 20th-centuries most popular and accessible masters. Clear, concise and compact, it explores all his major works, including their environmental, cultural and social contexts.
Artek Stool E60
One of Artek's best sellers, Stool 60 has limitless applications and lasting appeal. This L-leg stool features legs made of solid birch reinforced by thin pieces of plywood that are glued where the leg is bent, making it extremely durable. Stackable, portable, and offered in eleven finishes.
Artek Beehive Poster
Bring a piece of iconic design to your home. The Artek Icon Poster called the Beehive presents the famous lamp A331, designed by Alvar Aalto in 1953. The A331 pendant lamp is known all over the world.
Artek Bench 153A
The Artek Bench 153A is a conveniently contemporary seating solution in pretty much any room of the home. It is made entirely out of solid birch in a clear or colored lacquer. The legs are signature Alvar Aalto: lengths of solid birch bent into strong and graceful curves.
Artek Table 81B
Table 81B is Alvar Aalto's timeless design from 1935. Main material of the rectangular dining table is solid birch.  Artek tables are based on different combinations of Alvar Aalto’s L-leg and table tops.
Artek A330S Pendant
The Artek A330S Pendant, also known as the Golden Bell, was originally designed in the 1950s for large building projects. It first appeared in the teachers' lunchroom at the Finnish University of Jyvaskyla.

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Related Reading:

Design Icon: 10 Buildings by Alvar Aalto

Architect Josh Blumer Explains Why He Backpacked Through Europe With an Alvar Aalto Vase

Design Classic: Alvar Aalto’s Artek Stools

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