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Alvar Aalto Desks and Writing Tables

Alvar Aalto (Finland, 1898–1976)
Alvar Aalto (Finland, 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.

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1940s Finnish Birch Extention Table by Alvar Aalto for Artek
By Alvar Aalto, Artex
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A rectangular extension dining table with a laminated birch top and solid bentwood legs, having two (2) self storing 19.5" leaves. Fully extended table is 90.5" W.
Category

1940s Finnish Scandinavian Modern Vintage Alvar Aalto Desks and Writing Tables

Materials

Birch

Alva Alato Desk Writing Table Red Lacquer Table Top, 1930
By Alvar Aalto
Located in Hamburg, DE
Very early desk, writing table by Alva Aalto, circa 1930, red lacquer tabletop, birch, bentwood, table size 182 cm x 90 cm x 72 cm.
Category

1930s Finnish Modern Vintage Alvar Aalto Desks and Writing Tables

Materials

Bentwood, Birch

Alvar Aalto Mahogany Desk for Artek with Drawers and Pull Out Work Surfaces
By Alvar Aalto
Located in Chicago, IL
The model #500 mahogany desk designed by Alvar Aalto, made in Sweden for Artek, Finland. Six drawers with two pull-out work surface boards. A nice example of Aalto's clean modernist ...
Category

1940s Swedish Scandinavian Modern Vintage Alvar Aalto Desks and Writing Tables

Materials

Mahogany

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Previously Available Items
Alvar Aalto Table 81B
By Alvar Aalto
Located in London, GB
Small desk in birch plywood by Alvar Aalto, designed and made in the 1930s, it is a clear example of how Aalto obviated to the problem of connection between perpendicular elements in...
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1930s Finnish Modern Vintage Alvar Aalto Desks and Writing Tables

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  • Alvar Aalto Table 81B
  • Alvar Aalto Table 81B
  • Alvar Aalto Table 81B
  • Alvar Aalto Table 81B
H 27.17 in. W 38.98 in. D 23.63 in.
Alvar Aalto Birch Dining or Writing Table with Blue Top and Cabinet
By Design Research, Artek, Alvar Aalto
Located in Brooklyn, NY
1950s Alvar Aalto for Artek table composed of a large rectangular top joined to bentwood, laminated-birch legs. Fantastic, original blue linoleum top (looks and feels more like leath...
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Dining Table by Alvar Aalto
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Alvar Aalto for Artek Birch Dining or Writing Table
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This rectangular table was designed by Alvar Aalto for Artek in the late 1940s. This example features the signature Aalto bent birch L-shaped legs, and can be used as a desk, dining ...
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Alvar Aalto Fan Leg Dining Table or Writing Desk
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Alvar Aalto fan leg dining table or writing desk, designed circa 1950, and produced by Artek of Finland. Sculpted birch legs, ash wood top. Interior of legs are also fluted. We of...
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Alvar Aalto Measuring Table, circa 1960
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Measuring table designed by Alvar Aalto, circa 1950. Manufactured in Finland by Artek. Stamped with Helsinki City Stamp. Lacquered birch with linoleum. In good original co...
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Rare Alvar Aalto Yellow Linoleum Table
By Alvar Aalto
Located in Copenhagen K, DK
Alvar Aalto table in rare color yellow linoleum. Designed in 1933.
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H 27.96 in. W 47.25 in. D 29.53 in.