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"Paimio" lounge chair, model no. 41: Gallery Label - Current


Minneapolis Institute of Arts



Institution Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Few chairs of the 20th century are as universally popular or sought after as Alvar Aalto's Paimio lounge chair. Its pleasing grace, sinuous curves, and natural woods are an irresistible formula for what is now generally considered a classic in chair design. The armchair was one of several designed by the architect during the period in which he was building the tuberculosis sanitarium at Paimio, Finland (1929-33).Aalto wanted to supply the sanitarium with furniture that was more comfortable than the newly introduced Bauhaus metal furniture - then considered especially practical for institutional use - favoring wood for its psychological and humane qualities. Working with Otto Korhonen, technical director of Huonekalu-ja Rakennustyötendas, a furniture company in Turku near Paimio, he developed the celebrated ribbon-like frame. The seat and back are formed from a single piece of laminated plywood bent and rolled at each support. Despite its lack of upholstery, the springy seat afforded comfortable sitting. Challenging the new metal furniture with designs such as this, Aalto's technical virtuosity revealed processed wood as an equally moderne material.
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Type: Commentary, Gallery Label - Current
Source: Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Rights: Copyright Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Added to Site: March 13, 2009