Design Classic: Alvar Aalto's Artek Stools

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By William Lamb / Published by Dwell
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More than 80 years after their introduction, Alvar Aalto's stools for Artek retain their currency and remain perennial favorites.

The Finnish architect and designer Alvar Aalto started a quiet revolution of sorts in the early 1930s, when he paired solid craftsmanship with the efficiency of mass production to create an enduring design classic, the Artek Stool 60. The stackable, three-legged stool has been in continuous production since its introductin, though Artek relaunched it in a new edition in 2013 to celebrate the stool's 80th birthday.

Alvar Aalto designed the Stool 60 for Artek in 1933; it has been in continuous production ever since.

Alvar Aalto designed the Stool 60 for Artek in 1933; it has been in continuous production ever since.

The enduring appeal of the Stool 60—and other variations on the type, such as the High Stool 64—testify to its durability and quality, and to the clean formal language of its design. It remains a modern staple, one that pops up with clockwork regularity in the pages of Dwell. Click through the slideshow to see these Artek stools in their natural setting: at home in the modern world.

A pair of Aalto stools—in this case, the High Stool 64—are a prominent feature of this kitchen in Balmain Point, Australia, a suburb of Sydney.

A pair of Aalto stools—in this case, the High Stool 64—are a prominent feature of this kitchen in Balmain Point, Australia, a suburb of Sydney.

Artek stools make for a perfect perch for browsing books in the library of this artist's house on Orcas Island, Washington.

Artek stools make for a perfect perch for browsing books in the library of this artist's house on Orcas Island, Washington.

Aalto stools are a staple at Artek 2nd Cycle, a 2,400-square-foot store in Helsinki that specializes in mid-century vintage wares, much of them harvested from estate sales around Finland.

Aalto stools are a staple at Artek 2nd Cycle, a 2,400-square-foot store in Helsinki that specializes in mid-century vintage wares, much of them harvested from estate sales around Finland.

The kitchen in this house on Australia’s Mornington Peninsula features Muuto pendant lights, a Vola faucet, and a ceiling fan by Beacon Lighting in addition to bar stools by Aalto.

The kitchen in this house on Australia’s Mornington Peninsula features Muuto pendant lights, a Vola faucet, and a ceiling fan by Beacon Lighting in addition to bar stools by Aalto.