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Posts tagged as 'Artek'

Thu 27.2.

Grand-Hornu Images: Alvar Aalto Lightings Exhibition

Posted by Walter Phillips on 27.02.2014 - Tagged as: , ,

Grand-Hornu: Alvar Aalto Lightings Exhibition, photo: (c)Maija Holma Alvar Aalto Museum

Grand-Hornu: Alvar Aalto Lightings Exhibition, photo: (c)Maija Holma Alvar Aalto Museum

Belgium’s Grand-Hornu Images is dedicating its next exhibition to Finnish architect and designer Alvar Aalto (1898-1976), one of the pioneers in the quest for solutions to perfect the lighting inside buildings.



Fri 6.9.

Vitra acquires Artek: a new partnership built on affinity

Posted by Walter Phillips on 06.09.2013 - Tagged as: ,



Internationally renowned Swiss design brand Vitra has acquired the Finnish company Artek. Itself a renowned design company founded in 1935 in Finland by architect Alvar Aalto and his wife Aino, art promoter Maire Gullichsen and art historian Nils-Gustav Hahl, Artek was built upon the radical business plan to “sell furniture and to promote a modern culture of habitation by exhibitions and other educational means.”



Ilmari Tapiovaara's 'Kiki' range, reissued by Artek; photo by Tuomas Uusheimo

Ilmari Tapiovaara (1914 – 1999) was an acclaimed Finnish interior architect and furniture designer.

Now, exactly 52 years after ‘Kiki’ range has won him the gold prize at the Milan Triennale in 1960, the renowned furniture brand Artek is about to rerelease this beautifully reduced collection of upholstered, tubular steel furniture. The series, which Tapiovaara developed after having designed an initial, space-saving stackable chair intended for use in large spaces such as conference halls and auditorium, now also includes a two- and three-seater sofa and bench models; a side, sofa and standard-height table, as well as our favourite, a small but brilliantly vibrant tangerine stool.


‘U336′ pendant light by Jørn Utzon re-released by Artek

The classic ‘U336′ pendant light designed more than half a century ago by the Pritzker Prize-winning Danish architect Jørn Utzon has been re-released by the famous Finnish manufacturer Artek. The neutral white finish and shell-like structure of this 1957 lamp echo Utzon’s most famous project he designed in the same year, the Sydney Opera House. (more…)

Artek design director Ville Kokkonen's new 'Bright White 1' light for Artek

For a company renowned for producing, among other things, highly expressive, iconic lighting pieces, Artek have performed a rather curious, yet seductive, inversion of this with their new range of ‘White’ lights by design director Ville Kokkonen, launched at this year’s Euroluce during the Milan Furniture Fair. (more…)

'Pirkka' stools by Imari Tapiovaara, now in production by Artek

On the occasion of Artek’s 75th anniversary the Finnish manufacturer, founded in 1935 by Alvar Aalto extended their collection with another range of Finnish classics – those by Ilmari Tapiovaara, a great admirer of Alvar Aalto. Artek has acquired the entire share capital of Aero Design Furniture, the company which produced the Tapiovaara pieces until now.


Northern lights: Artek shows Alvar Aalto's 'A330S' pendant lights at DROOM's Cologne showroom as part of its 75th-anniversary installation during January's furniture fair

Few design brands evoke as much warmth on the part of consumers as the heritage-steeped Finnish company Artek, currently celebrating 75 years in business. Co-founded in 1935 by the hero of Scandinavian modernism Alvar Aalto, Artek has certainly earned its design stripes. Here, its managing director, Mirkku Kullberg, in conversation with Architonic during the recent Cologne Furniture Fair, discusses how the manufacturer’s longevity is matched by its long-sighted, forward-facing vision…


'Bolle' bottles by Tapio Wirkkala, the product of a collaboration with Murano-based glassworks Venini, 1966–67; image courtesy of Venini

With leading Finnish design brand Artek reissuing two of its fellow countryman Tapio Wirkkala’s striking designs from the late 1960s and early 70s, as well as first-time-round, ‘vintage’ pieces of his being shown at international design fairs such as Design Miami Basel, now is the time to look back at the work of this highly productive designer, whose contribution to postwar Scandinavian design was as major as it was diverse.


Land of the midnight sun Finland may, in terms of historical regional politics and power at least, have often been eclipsed by its Scandinavian neighbours Sweden and Denmark, but when it comes to having helped define the course of the postwar 20th-century design, the country has certainly never been in the shadows.

'X-Frame Table' by Tapio Wirkkala, originally for Asko Oy, 1958; recently reissued by Artek

‘Domus’, the iconic and authoritative Italian design journal founded in the 1920s by architect-designer Gio Ponti, did much to disseminate images of, and commentary on, Finnish design to an international audience from the 1950s onwards, but the work of one its countrymen more than any other was to appear in its pages with great regularity: Tapio Wirkkala. Indeed, Wirkkala, who trained as a decorative carver but went on to become a key figure in Scandinavian modernism, was included in the pantheon of prolific designers’ names that featured in the masthead of the magazine from the early 1960s until 1973.

Tapio with coffee pot from the 'Finlandia' service, produced by Rosenthal AG in the 1950s; image courtesy of the Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Foundation

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