Artek’s new collection celebrates the 90th anniversary of the Paimio Sanatorium

The Paimio Sanatorium Anniversary Collection includes a special birch wood version of the Paimio armchair, as well as Aalto stools dressed in forest green, sun yellow and sky blue colors found in the sanatorium. Additionally, Artek introduces new colors for Aino Aalto’s Side Table 606.

Artek Aalto Armchair 41 "Paimio", anniversary edition, oiled birch
Armchair 41’s anniversary edition captured in the bright yellow lobby of the Paimio Sanatorium. Image: Artek / Puttonen Ruska

IT HAS BEEN 90 YEARS since the completion of the Paimio Sanatorium, designed by Aino and Alvar Aalto.

To mark this special anniversary, Artek has introduced the Paimio Sanatorium Anniversary Collection with colors found in the sanatorium’s interiors. Part of the collection’s proceeds will be directed to the Paimio Sanatorium Foundation, which has been responsible for preserving the sanatorium and developing new uses for the property since 2020.

• Read also: Light, colors and architecture – meet the winners of the Paimio Sanatorium 90 poster competition! >

Paimio Sanatorium
Surrounded by lush pine forests, the Paimio Sanatorium was inaugurated in the summer of 1933. Image: Artek / Fabrice Fouillet
Paimio Sanatorium facade
Aino and Alvar Aalto designed a clean white exterior for the functionalist main building. Image: Artek / Puttonen Ruska
Artek Aalto stool 60, anniversary edition
The Aalto stools of the anniversary collection draw inspiration from the colors of the sanatorium and its surroundings. Image: Artek / Puttonen Ruska

The Paimio Sanatorium, completed in 1933, was originally created as a “medical instrument” for treating tuberculosis patients, with the buildings, furniture, color scheme and details all aimed at supporting the holistic well-being of the patients.

Today, the Paimio Sanatorium is renowned as a masterpiece of functional architecture, and many of its furniture pieces have become iconic design classics.

The Paimio Sanatorium Anniversary Collection:

Artek Aalto Armchair 41 "Paimio", anniversary edition, oiled birch
Armchair 41, also known as the Paimio Chair, was originally designed to facilitate the patients’ breathing. Image: Artek
Artek Aalto Armchair 41 "Paimio", anniversary edition, detail
The anniversary edition is crafted from oiled birch, accentuating the chair’s warm, organic character. Image: Artek
Artek Aalto Armchair 41 "Paimio", anniversary edition, detail
Armchair 41 in oiled birch is produced as a limited and numbered edition of 90 pieces. Image: Artek

Armchair 41

Armchair 41 was conceived as part of the overall plan for the Paimio Sanatorium. As a contrast to traditional furniture made of metal tubes, Alvar Aalto wanted to design something warmer and more humane. With this in mind, he created the Paimio Chair, released in 1932, which was manufactured of bent plywood and laminated wood. The gracefully curved seat was designed to facilitate the patients’ breathing.

The anniversary edition of Armchair 41 is made from beautifully oiled birch wood. Only a limited and numbered edition of 90 armchairs has been produced, making it a true collector’s item. For each sold piece, Artek donates 500 euros to support the Paimio Sanatorium Foundation.

Armchair 41 "Paimio," oiled birch >

Artek Aalto stool 60, anniversary edition
The sky blue, sun yellow and forest green stools are available for a limited time only. Image: Artek
Artek Aalto stool 60, anniversary edition, sun yellow - birch
The sun yellow stool matches the colors of the sanatorium's lobby and main staircase. Image: Artek / Puttonen Ruska

Stool 60

Originally introduced in 1933, the iconic Stool 60 is now available in three new hues, all found in the original color palette of the Paimio Sanatorium. The three colors represent the everyday life and healing process of the sanatorium’s patients: yellow symbolizes sunlight, green evokes the proximity of the forest, and blue reflects the healing power of fresh air.

For each stool sold, 30 euros will be directed to the Paimio Sanatorium Foundation.

Stool 60, sun yellow >

Artek Side Table 606, mint
Side Table 606 was designed by Aino Aalto for the sanatorium’s lobby. The mint green color is an anniversary edition. Image: Artek
Artek Side Table 606, grey
Side Table 606 is now available also in light grey. Image: Artek

Side Table 606

The anniversary collection also introduces two new color variations of Aino Aalto’s Side Table 606. Aalto designed this delicate little table while working on the Paimio Sanatorium project, and it was originally used as a stool for changing shoes – hence the three-quarter-moon base.

The new mint green shade of Side Table 606 is inspired by the ceilings of the sanatorium’s patient rooms and reading halls, while the soft light grey hue is reminiscent of the metal parts of stair railings and the stripes along the staircase walls.

Side Table 606, mint >

To design the color palette of the Paimio Sanatorium, Aino and Alvar Aalto collaborated with Finnish artist Eino Kauria, known for his wall and glass paintings.

Each color used in the interior design serves a carefully considered function, resulting in a combination of calming and stimulating hues inspired by the surrounding elements of nature. A delightfully sunny yellow decorates the sanatorium’s lobby and main staircase, whereas soothing blues and greens can be found in the ceilings of lounges, halls and patient rooms.

Read also: Alvar Aalto and the colors of the Paimio Sanatorium >

Mint green ceiling at the Paimio Sanatorium
The mint green hue can be found on the ceilings of the reading rooms and patient rooms. Image: Artek
Yellow staircase at the Paimio Sanatorium
The sanatorium’s interior carefully incorporates both energizing and calming colors. Image: Artek / Tuomas Uusheimo
Blue corridor at the Paimio Sanatorium
Each floor was designed with its unique color scheme – this corridor is dominated by a blue hue. Image: Artek / Tuomas Uusheimo

This summer, the colors of Paimio Sanatorium will immerse visitors also in a more urban setting, when a new summer exhibition takes over the Artek store in central Helsinki.

The summer exhibition will be on display at the Artek store from 1 June to 2 September 2023 at Keskuskatu 1 B, Helsinki.

See also:

All Artek products >

Text: Nora Uotila

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