Alvar Aalto design for Artek, 1932.
The Paimio 41 armchair with its imposing yet light looking structure is one of the first and most beautiful creations of Alvar Aalto.
Designed in 1931 for the Paimio sanatorium in Finland, the project which brought Alvar Aalto to fame as an architect, the chair rapidly grew in popularity throughout the world.
Its seat and back, molded out of a single piece of plywood, were perfectly angled to allow patients to make the most of the sunshine, while easing their breathing.
The smooth surface and lack of angles also made it easy to clean.
The manufacturing process of the chair required many years of research on the possibilities of glue-laminated wood. Alvar Aalto managed to develop an innovative method, allowing him to achieve 90° curves in the wood, by inserting slats of plywood into longitudinal grooves placed where the wood needed to be bent, before it was glued. The strength and flexibility of the wood then allowed the designer to create the perfectly curved legs of the Paimio armchair.
The assembly and finishing touches are still performed by hand today.
Armrests birch natural lacquered.
Seat shell: Bent birch plywood, lacquered in white or black.
W60 x D80 x H64 cm
Approximately 10 kg