Alvar Aalto

Designer Alvar Aalto

"Human life is a combination of tragedy and comedy. The shapes and designs that surround us are the music accompanying this tragedy and this comedy." Alvar Aalto

One of Finland's most celebrated architects and designers, Alvar Aalto was a key figure of mid-century modernism. Born in 1898 in Kuortane, Finland to a Land Surveyor father and Postmistress mother. He left home to study architecture at the Helsinki University of Technology and completed his first project, a house for his parents whilst still a student. His studies were interrupted by a brutal civil war that led to Finnish independence from Russia, the aftermath however meant it was a good time to be an architect, commissions were plentiful, born from the desire to establish and sculpt this newly independent and increasingly prosperous nation. 

Aalto travelled with his wife Aino, and had correspondence with Bauhaus intellectuals such as Walter Gropius and Lásló Moholy-Nagy, this influence combined with inspiration from the natural Finnish landscape resulted in Aalto's unique style.

As an architect over the course of 50 years Aalto was involved in the design of over 300 buildings in his native country alone, he first designed furniture for the Palmio Sanatorium project in 1932. For Aalto, furniture was a natural extension of his architectural design philosophy, and he viewed each piece however small as intrinsic to the whole project.

In 1935 he created the furniture company Artek with three others, his wife Aino, Maire Gullichsen, and Nils-Gustav Hahl. The company had an expressed mission to "to sell furniture and to promote a modern culture of living by exhibitions and other educational means."

Famed for his use of organic, undulating lines. The work of Aalto is warm, always recognisable and distinctively Finnish. 

Chair 65 image 1 Chair 65 image 2 Chair 65 image 3

Chair 65

Designer Alvar Aalto
Manufacturer Artek

Alvar Aalto's Chair 65 is an elegant piece with a simple and timeless expression

£235.00

Chair 65
Alvar Aalto for Artek
Starting at £282

Chair 66 image 1 Chair 66 image 2 Chair 66 image 3

Chair 66

Designer Alvar Aalto
Manufacturer Artek

Alvar Aalto's Chair 66 is a 1930's design classic with a timeless appeal

£250.00

Chair 66
Alvar Aalto for Artek
Starting at £300

Chair 69 Palmio image 1 Chair 69 Palmio image 2 Chair 69 Palmio image 3 Chair 69 Palmio image 4 Chair 69 Palmio image 5 Chair 69 Palmio image 6

Chair 69 Palmio

Designer Alvar Aalto
Manufacturer Artek

Artek's iconic Chair 69, designed by Alvar Aalto in 1935, updated with a palette inspired by his famous Palmio Sanatorium project

£273.00

Chair 69 Palmio
Alvar Aalto for Artek
Starting at £328

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Pendant Light A440

Designer Alvar Aalto
Manufacturer Artek

The A440 light exemplifies designer Alvar Aalto's streamlined aesthetics with a timeless materiality

£415.00

Pendant Light A440
Alvar Aalto for Artek
Starting at £498

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114B Wall Drawer

Designer Alvar Aalto
Manufacturer Artek

A classic Alvar Aalto design, the 114B Wall Drawer is both decorative and functional

£420.00

114B Wall Drawer
Alvar Aalto for Artek
Starting at £504

A331 Beehive Pendant Light  image 1 A331 Beehive Pendant Light  image 2

A331 Beehive Pendant Light

Designer Alvar Aalto
Manufacturer Artek

Instantly recognisable, Artek's Beehive Pendant Light has a sculptural quality that commands attention, equally striking whether turned on or off

£708.33

A331 Beehive Pendant Light
Alvar Aalto for Artek
Starting at £850

Chair 611 image 1 Chair 611 image 2 Chair 611 image 3

Chair 611

Designer Alvar Aalto
Manufacturer Artek

Alvar Aalto's Chair 611 is a 1920s design that offers comfort and practicality in equal measure

£400.00

Chair 611
Alvar Aalto for Artek
Starting at £480

Golden Bell Pendant Light A330S image 1 Golden Bell Pendant Light A330S image 2 Golden Bell Pendant Light A330S image 3 Golden Bell Pendant Light A330S image 4 Golden Bell Pendant Light A330S image 5

Golden Bell Pendant Light A330S

Designer Alvar Aalto
Manufacturer Artek

An extension of Alvar Aalto's architectural thinking, the Artek Golden Bell Pendant is a modern lighting classic

£329.00

Golden Bell Pendant Light A330S
Alvar Aalto for Artek
Starting at £395

Aalto Umbrella Stand image 1

Aalto Umbrella Stand

Designer Alvar Aalto
Manufacturer Artek

Alvar Aalto's 1930s Umbrella Stand with a refined materiality 

£341.67

Aalto Umbrella Stand
Alvar Aalto for Artek
Starting at £410

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