International Decorative Art

Paimio Lounge Chair (Model 41)

Paimio Lounge Chair (Model 41)

Design Date 1930

Designer Alvar Aalto (1898-1976, Finnish)

Manufacturer Artek oy ab (1935-present), Helsinki, Finland

Media birch wood and plywood

Dimensions 26 x 23 3/4 x 34 inches

Alvar Aalto was the architect for the tuberculosis sanatorium in Paimio, Finland for which he also designed this lounge chair. He hoped to create furniture appropriate for a medical setting that maintained good design and wasn’t too aesthetically sterile. Aalto chose bentwood for the armchair’s construction because, he said, “tubular and chromium surface are good solutions technically, but psychophysically these materials are not good for the human being.” Natural wood was “better for the human touch and more suitable as the general material for the long and painful life in a sanatorium.” The ribbon-like shape of the seat with its curved scrolls is both supportive and decorative.

ON VIEW in Modern Gallery 7

Markings unmarked

Accession Number 2006.1309