Alvar Aalto’s iconic Stool 60 is the most elemental of furniture pieces, equally suitable as a seat, a table, storage unit, or display surface. The legs are mounted directly to the underside of the round seat without the need for complicated connecting elements. Thanks to its geometry, the stool can be stacked to save space in a spiralling tower sculpture. Manufactured in 42 production steps at the A-Factory in Turku, Finland, Stool 60 is available in a wide variety of colors and finishes. Several million units of Stool 60 and its four-legged cousin, Stool E60, have been sold, making it one of the most cherished products in the history of design.
Jo Nagasaka’s fresh approach to traditional Japanese craft is renowned for its novel and contemporary expression. Thus, the Tokyo-based architect and designer was a natural partner for Artek’s FIN/JPN Friendship Collection. Nagasaka set out to apply his research on surface treatments to Artek’s beloved classics. Experimenting with the age-old practices of Udukuri and Tsugaru-nuri, Nagasaka merges them into his own original process, resulting in what he calls ColoRing. For ColoRing, soft-grained pinewood is used as surface veneer. Nagasaka creates an uneven wood surface by removing softer parts with a hard-haired brush, accentuating the natural grain of the wood (Udukuri). Two layers of colored lacquer are then added, only to be subsequently sanded away to partially unveil the layers beneath (Tsugaru-nuri). The results are surprising color combinations and irregular patterns that evoke topographical maps. With the wooden structure remaining partly visible, natural beauty is retained while creating intriguing juxtapositions.
- Height: 44 cm / 17 1/4 inch
- Width: 38 cm / 15 inch
Artek was founded in 1935 by Alvar and Aino Aalto, Maire Gullichsen and Nils-Gustav Hahl. The business idea of the company was “to sell furniture and to promote a modern culture of habitation by exhibitions and other educational means.” That was the beginning of Artek.
The Artek collection comprises design furniture and lighting fixtures by the Nordic masters Alvar Aalto, Ilmari Tapiovaara, Tapio Wirkkala and Eero Aarnio. The latest addition to the portfolio consists of products by Yrjö Kukkapuro. The masterpiece of Kukkapuro, the Karuselli chair, will be
re-launched on the market in the beginning of the year 2014. In addition to classics, Artek is also launching new generation design products under the Artek Studio brand. Alvar Aalto’s furniture represents an interpretation of Scandinavian modernism articulated primarily in Finnish birch wood. Wood and functionality are both hallmarks of the Artek collection. The Artek portfolio represents the most comprehensive collection of wooden design furniture in the world.
Artek has international sales offices in New York, Berlin, Stockholm and Tokyo. The domestic market accounts for 60% of the company’s turnover, with Artek holding a solid position in the Finnish consumer and contract market. Vitra’s design classics have for a number of years been an important part of Artek’s collection for the Finnish market. Artek operates four stores in Finland, as well as a wide retail network.
Artek Stool 60 Designed by:
- Alvar Aalto , 1933
Finland, 1898 – 1976
Finland’s most famous architect and designer, Alvar Aalto reshaped the architecture and furniture of public buildings on the basis of functionality and the organic relationship between man, nature and buildings. He is known as the “Father of Modernism.”
Born in 1898 in Finland, Alvar Aalto studied at the Helsinki University of Technology, graduating with a degree in architecture. In 1924 Aalto and his wife honeymooned in Italy. The Mediterranean culture had a profound influence on Aalto’s creative process, blending his Nordic intellect with the natural ornamentation of Northern Italian landscape and architecture. In 1927 the Aaltos moved to the city of Turku in Finland. Aalto designed the Paimio Sanatorium, a building that elevated him to the status of master of heroic functionalism. His design for the Villa Mairea in Noormarkku, is one of the most admired private residences in contemporary architecture.
In 1933 Aalto moved to Helsinki. There he founded his architecture firm, Artek, where he executed major international commissions, such as the Finnish Pavilions for the 1936 Paris World Fair and the 1939-1940 New York’s World Fair. Aalto’s architecture, furniture and glassware evokes multiple allusions to images of unspoiled nature. Aalto’s creativity was deeply rooted in his own organic way of life and the traditions of the Scandinavian countries. Aalto was featured on the last series of the 50 Finnish mark bill, before the Euro was introduced. He died in 1976 in Helsinki, Finland.