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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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 >
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.
Text: Nora Uotila