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Alvar Aalto

Finnish, 1898-1976

An architect and designer, Alvar Aalto deserves an immense share of the credit for bringing Scandinavian modernism to a prominent place in the global arena. In both his buildings and in his furnishings — which range from chairs, tables and lighting to table- and glassware — Aalto’s sensitivity to the natural world and to organic forms and materials tempered the hardness of rationalist design.

Relatively few Aalto buildings exist outside Finland. (Just four exist in the United States, and only one — the sinuous 1945 Baker House dormitory at M.I.T. — is easily visited.) International attention came to Aalto, whose surname translates to English as “wave,” primarily through his furniture.

Instead of the tubular metal framing favored by the Bauhaus designers and Le Corbusier, Aalto insisted on wood. His aesthetic is best represented by the Paimio armchair, developed in 1930 as part of his overall design of a Finnish tuberculosis sanatorium. Comfortable, yet light enough to be easily moved by patients, the chair’s frame is composed of two laminated birch loops; the seat and back are formed from a single sheet of plywood that scrolls under at the headrest and beneath the knees, creating a sort of pillow effect. Aalto’s use of plywood had enormous influence on Charles Eames, Arne Jacobsen, Marcel Breuer and others who later came to the material.

Concerned with keeping up standards of quality in the production of his designs, Aalto formed the still-extant company Artek in 1935, along with his wife, Aino Aalto, whose glass designs were made by the firm. In the latter medium, in 1936 the Aaltos together created the iconic, undulating Savoy vase, so-called for the luxe Helsinki restaurant for which the piece was designed. Artek also produced Aalto lighting designs, many of which — such as the Angel’s Wing floor lamp and the Beehive pendant — incorporate a signature Aalto detail: shades made of concentric enameled-metal rings graduated down in diameter. The effect of the technique is essential Alvar Aalto: at once precise, simple, and somehow poetic.

Average Sold Price
$4,077
Styles
Materials
Iconic Designs from Alvar Aalto
Explore timeless pieces that have earned their place in history.
Angel Wing Floor Lamp
Angel Wing Floor Lamp
Savoy Vase
Savoy Vase
Stool 60
Stool 60
Paimio Armchair
Paimio Armchair
Alvar Aalto 401 Wingback Chairs Artek, Finland, 1970
By Artek, Alvar Aalto
Located in Roosendaal, Noord Brabant
Stylish pair of wingback lounge chairs model 401 designed by Alvar Aalto for Artek, Finland, 1933. These chairs were purchased at Metz and Co. in the 1970s. The chairs have a birch p...
Category

1970s Finnish Scandinavian Modern Vintage Alvar Aalto

Materials

Upholstery, Plywood

Alvar Aalto Model 44 Lounge Chair by Artek Finland
By Artek, Alvar Aalto
Located in Longdon, Tewkesbury
Alvar Aalto Model 44 lounge chair by Artek Finland Circa 1995? Magnificent Alvar Aalto Model 44 Lounge Chair by Artek Finland circa 1995, upholstered in ivory herringbone wool, the ...
Category

1990s Finnish Mid-Century Modern Alvar Aalto

Materials

Wool, Birch

Iconic Aalto Table Bench Model 106
By Alvar Aalto
Located in New York, NY
Iconic Aalto design end, side table, bench in solid wood, with slatted top. This example is vintage 1970/1980's. It is in very good, original, clean and ready use use condition showi...
Category

Mid-20th Century Finnish Scandinavian Modern Alvar Aalto

Materials

Birch

  • Iconic Aalto Table Bench Model 106
  • Iconic Aalto Table Bench Model 106
  • Iconic Aalto Table Bench Model 106
  • Iconic Aalto Table Bench Model 106
H 17.25 in. W 28.38 in. D 15.75 in.
Pair of Armchairs with Bouclé and Patinated Leather by Alvar Aalto, 1950s
By Alvar Aalto, Artek
Located in Lejre, DK
Pair of armchairs with bouclé fabric and patinated leather arms. Designed by Alvar Aalto in 1947 for Artek. Great condition.
Category

1940s Finnish Mid-Century Modern Vintage Alvar Aalto

Materials

Fabric, Leather, Beech

Alvar Aalto Mid-Century "34/402" Birch Cantilever Armchair
By Alvar Aalto
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Finnish architect and designer Alvar Aalto '34/402' armchair for O.Y. Huonekalu- ja Rakennustyötehdas A.B. Finland. Designed in 1933 and likely produced in the 1960's. Frame is made ...
Category

Mid-20th Century Finnish Alvar Aalto

Materials

Birch

Paavo Tynell and Alvar Aalto Perforated Brass Pendant Light for Taito Oy
By Alvar Aalto, Paavo Tynell
Located in Madrid, ES
A polished and perforated brass pendant light designed jointly by Paavo Tynell and his pupil, Alvar Aalto and edited by Taito Oy in the 1940s. A collection piece.  
Category

1940s Finnish Scandinavian Modern Vintage Alvar Aalto

Materials

Brass

Alvar Alto 406 Woven Lounge Chairs
By Alvar Aalto
Located in Cincinnati, OH
A pair of sculptural bent birch wood framed lounge chairs with black woven strap seating by Finish designer Alvar Alto. A very comfortable Classic form with ergonomics in mind, retai...
Category

Late 20th Century Finnish Mid-Century Modern Alvar Aalto

Materials

Bentwood

  • Alvar Alto 406 Woven Lounge Chairs
  • Alvar Alto 406 Woven Lounge Chairs
  • Alvar Alto 406 Woven Lounge Chairs
  • Alvar Alto 406 Woven Lounge Chairs
H 34 in. W 24 in. D 28 in.
Alvar Aalto Glass Bowl Savoy, circa 1970
By Alvar Aalto
Located in Langserud, SE
Glass designed by Alvar Aalto, circa 1970. Made in Finland. Very good condition.  
Category

1970s Finnish Mid-Century Modern Vintage Alvar Aalto

Materials

Glass

  • Alvar Aalto Glass Bowl Savoy, circa 1970
  • Alvar Aalto Glass Bowl Savoy, circa 1970
  • Alvar Aalto Glass Bowl Savoy, circa 1970
  • Alvar Aalto Glass Bowl Savoy, circa 1970
H 6.3 in. W 7.88 in. D 6.7 in.
Browse all Furniture from Alvar Aalto
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More Alvar Aalto Designs
Chair 65
Chair 65
Average Price
$3,862
Number Available
1
Chair 65
By Alvar Aalto
Materials
Birch, Elm, Hardwood, Wood
Styles
Scandinavian Modern
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Golden Bell Pendant Light
Golden Bell Pendant Light
Average Price
$2,539
Number Available
3
Golden Bell Pendant Light
By Alvar Aalto
Materials
Brass, Metal
Styles
Scandinavian Modern
Originally crafted from a single piece of brass, the Golden Bell pendant light was named for the “golden” reflections it casts as well as its recognizable shape. Finnish architect and furniture maker Alvar Aalto (1898–1976) and his wife, Aino (1894–1949) — also an architect and pioneering designer — created the streamlined ceiling light in 1937 as part of a full interior design commission for Helsinki’s luxurious Savoy restaurant. The fixture was exhibited to wide acclaim later that year in t...
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Bench 153
Bench 153
Average Price
$2,186
Number Available
1
Bench 153
By Alvar Aalto
Materials
Wood
Styles
Mid Century Modern
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Chair 68
Chair 68
Average Price
$5,464
Number Available
1
Chair 68
By Alvar Aalto
Materials
Ash, Birch, Hardwood, Wood
Styles
Scandinavian Modern
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Alvar Aalto furniture for sale on 1stDibs

Furniture Alvar Aalto are available on 1stDibs for sale. These distinctive objects are often made of wood and designed with extraordinary care. In our collection of Alvar Aalto furniture, there are many options to choose from, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. In stock are 243 vintage editions of these items, while there is also a modern edition to choose from. Many of the original furniture by Alvar Aalto were created in Europe during the 20th century in the Mid-Century Modern style. If you are looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Yrjö Kukkapuro, Carl Gustav Hiort af Ornäs and Artek. The prices for Alvar Aalto furniture can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. Price for these items starts at US$168 and tops out at US$57,817, while pieces like these can sell for US$4,200 on average.

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