Iittala's Aalto vase is an organically shaped icon of Finnish design and glasswork. Alvar Aalto created the Aalto vase in different sizes and colours for the World Fair in Paris in 1937. The flowing shape of the vase, according to some, is derived from the Finnish landscape with its numerous lakes, although some argue that the shape is a nod to the designer's name, Aalto, which is Finnish for "wave". Each Aalto vase is mouth-blown at the Iittala glassworks in Finland.

The Aalto vase set includes two vases in dark grey: one 16 cm and one 9,5 cm vase. Alvar Aalto would never demonstrate how his glass objects should be used but wanted the user to decide; this freedom to interpret the origins and function may be what has helped keep the Aalto collection so contemporary and fresh. What would you use the two vases for?


Aalto vase set 160 mm + 95 mm, dark grey



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Mouth-blown glass, blown into a cast-iron mould
Dark grey
16 cm; 9,5 cm
Care instructions
Handwash only

Alvar Aalto

Alvar Aalto (1898-1976) is probably the most famous Finnish architect and designer in the world. In 1921 Alvar Aalto got the Diploma of Architecture at the Helsinki Institute of Technology and his career as an architect started. One of the most important works he was commissioned was the planning of the tuberculosis sanatorium in Paimio, Finland. This project meant also the beginning of Aalto’s career as a furniture designer – in fact, this was the first building planned by Aalto which was entirely furnished with pieces of furniture designed by Aalto himself – including the lighting as well. Other important projects completed by Alvar Aalto are the Viipuri Municipal Library, Villa Mairea, La Maison Carré and the Finnish Pavilions for the 1937 Paris and 1939 New York World Fairs.

In 1935 Alvar Aalto, together with Aino Aalto, Maire Gullichsen and Nils-Gustav Hahl, founded Artek, a world-renowned furniture and lighting company. The company was created "to sell furniture" – designed by Alvar Aalto – "and to promote modern culture of habitation by exhibitions and other means". 

One of the most ingenious innovations by Alvar Aalto is the L-leg, patented in 1933. Aalto considered his L-leg design his greatest achievement and even compared it to the invention of the architectonic column. Thanks to this innovation, the legs could be attached directly to the table, chair and stool tops. Alvar Aalto was a versatile designer whose work covered different fields. He is well-known also for his elegant lamps, which very often were designed for individual construction projects and later on adapted for the serial production. Alvar Aalto was also an esteemed glass designer and his most famous work as a glass designer is the Aalto vase (or Savoy vase) – one of the most iconic glassware pieces in Finnish design.

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