Aalto stool 70 years
Alvar Aalto threw the prototype stool across the floor. Satisfied with its strength he predicted: "Someday we'll sell thousands of these." Aalto's estimate has proved wildly inaccurate: 70 years later over 1.5 million have been sold globally, making it one of the few truly popular icons of modern design.
In the early 1930s Finnish architect Alvar Aalto (1898-1976) had began to experiment with ways of interpreting modern design in wood. This seemingly simple stool features what Aalto considered his most important innovation in furniture design, the L-leg, made from solid birch wood. First exhibited at London's Fortnum and Mason department store in 1933, the space-saving stackable stool was heralded as the quintessence of elegantly functional furniture design. Aalto used the daring structural solution as a module for an entire range of stools, chairs and tables that continue to be in demand worldwide.
To mark the 70th anniversary, Artek is producing a special edition, Stool 60, with a curly birch seat. Finnish curly birch is a distinctive wood species with a speckled pattern and wave-like annual rings that give a rich surface texture. Stool 60 features a brass plaque engraved with the year on the bottom of the seat and is sold in a special gift packaging, making it a genuine collector's item in the Aalto furniture line.