Paimio chair (Armchair 41)
Designed by Alvar Aalto, 1931-2
Bent plywood, laminated and solid birch
In 1928 Aalto and his wife Aino won the competition to design a tuberculosis sanitorium near the Finnish city of Paimio. The project was not completed until 1933, and during this time they were also appointed to design the interior and furnishings. Initially they considered using the metal framed B3 (Wassily) leather chairs of Marcel Breuer, but it was decided that wood was a more suitable material in the atmosphere of the sanitorium, being warmer, more supple and generally friendlier towards the patients.
Used in the patients lounge, the relaxed angle of the backrest was intended to help the tuberculosis sufferers breath more easily. After a number of experiments with materials, laminated birch was settled upon as a material for the side elements and the one piece seat and backrest. This gave the chair a degree of flexibility and springiness.
In 1935 the company of Artek was formed by Alvar and Aino Aalto to manufacture their designs, and Artek still produces this chair today.
We would like to say a big thank you to Alvar Aaltp Foundation & Museum and Marianne Goebl of Artek for their permission to use the design in our product.