Design Sale Helsinki presents several objects by Alvar Aalto
– the pioneer who designed the modern world
Alvar Aalto is one of Finland's most famous designers. Several of his furniture, vases, and glass objects are considered modern design classics. Aalto's design is inspired by the rolling waves and the Finnish landscape.
Aalto is also one of the most important representatives of modern architecture.
The birth of a design classic
Alvar Aalto found his way into glass design in the 1930s by participating in design competitions. Perhaps the most important success was at the art glass competition that the Karhulaglas factory announced in 1936, when a design classic was born.
In 1936, Alvar Aalto won a design competition announced by the Karhula glass factory in Finland, where his vases received an enthusiastic reception. They were originally made of clear glass, in rio-brown, azure or green.
The vase has been a part of the interior at the Hotel Savoy in Helsingfors since 1937, wherefore it is officially called the "Savoy vase".
”At this time, Aalto's design was considered both daring and experimental.”
During the interwar period, only a small number of the Savoy vase were manufactured. At this time, Aalto's design, was considered both daring and experimental. Its curvy lines and asymmetrical shapes did not appeal to the public.
The curved design of the vases, with their irregular surface, also posed a technical challenge: they were manufactured by blowing into a wooden mould, which limited the amount of production.
After the wars, the production of the Aalto vases resumed. Due to changes in manufacturing techniques, the vases could be produced in larger quantities from the 1950s. At the same time, public interest in the 9750 model (later the Iittala model 3030), the Savoy vase, increased.
Dated 22 IX 37, model ’9750’, Karhula Glass Factory
The vase belonged to one of the sixty journalists who attended the tour of the industrial facilities in Kotka, Karhula and Lahti, which was organized by the Finnish Chamber of Commerce on 22 September 1937. At the end of the tour, the journalists received a memorial gift from Karhula Glass Factory: Alvar Aalto's vase.
Plate, model 3900–37
The tableware was originally designed for the Karhula glassworks, probably in 1939. The production was later moved to Iittala in 1949. The original set consists of four parts of stackable barrels in different sizes. The owner, interior designer Erkki Kataja, bought the tableware in its entirety for everyday use, hence the amount of small plates.
Furniture design and international breakthrough
Aalto's most important invention as a furniture designer was the idea of the "bended knee" on chairs and armchairs.
A piece of solid birch wood was sawn up at the end in the direction of the fibers, and thin pieces of wood were glued into the grooves. The wood was then bent at the desired angle, in this case 90 °.
In 1933, Aalto received international recognition as a furniture designer at the Milan Triennial when he exhibited the chair with the bent leg. It attracted both the audience's attention and appreciation.
Armchair, model ’31’
The armchair 31 with sharply curved front rim was introduced in 1932. The following year, the model with a more rounded rim was introduced, a model that is still manufactured today.
Modell ’A332’, ”Hive”, Valaistustyö
The luminaire’s perforated brass rings contribute to an optically pleasing interaction between the luminaire’s dark contour and the light cone. The design is reminiscent of the hive’s characteristic shape.