Iittala expands The Ultima Thule collection with vases to celebrate its 55th Anniversary

In 2023, the Ultima Thule collection by Finnish designer Tapio Wirkkala celebrates its 55th anniversary. In honor of this milestone, Iittala is expanding the Ultima Thule collection into the interior category and introducing Ultima Thule vases for the first time.

Ultima Thule, inspired by the melting ice in Lapland, is the most famous work of design legend Tapio Wirkkala. It is an exclusive design that reflects the thousands of hours spent perfecting the glassblowing technique required to achieve the glass effect.

Ultima Thule is characterized by its round base supported by three small ice peaks that float above the surface, designed to resemble melting ice. It was an immediate success when it was launched in 1968. Today, the iconic Ultima Thule has been a cornerstone of Iittala for fifty-five years, with a collection that has expanded from glassware to plates, serving items, and interior objects.

Expanding the interior category with vases to commemorate the 55th anniversary of the legendary Ultima Thule, Iittala is introducing Ultima Thule vases to its ongoing collection. The vases are based on Tapio Wirkkala’s design and inspired by the original Ultima Thule glassware collection.The Ultima Thule glass vases are available in two sizes and are mouth-blown at the Iittala glass factory in Finland. The wavy surface of the vases evokes melting ice in the spring sun.



The large vase (180x192mm) beautifully showcases larger bouquets and flower arrangements. The smaller clear vase (82x97mm) is ideal for bunches or single-stemmed branches. In addition to clear glass, a smaller vase is also available in two other materials: recycled glass and vitro porcelain. The vitroporcelain cast vase (85×95) has a matte surface. The handmade ceramic vase offers more style options for those who appreciate the pattern and texture of melting ice.

The 100% recycled Ultima Thule vase has a cool blue hue due to the nature of recycled glass. In addition to the recycled Ultima Thule vase, Iittala is also introducing a recycled jug (50cl) to complement the previously launched recycled cup (20cl) from last year.

All recycled items are made from glass waste generated during the post-processing of mouth-blown glass, the pouring of molten glass, and quality control at the Iittala glass factory in Finland. No glass waste is sent to landfills but is instead reused.



Tapio Wirkkala
Tapio Wirkkala (1915-1985) was a multitalented design genius, widely considered a leading figure of modern Finnish industrial art. Wirkkala’s wide ranging portfolio spans from glass, furniture and product design to sculpture, city planning, art, graphics and even creating banknotes for the Finnish treasury. Throughout his incredibly productive career, Wirkkala received numerous awards including three gold medals at the Milan Triennale, the Lunning Prize, Pro Finlandia Medal and the Prince Eugen Medal.

In 1946, Wirkkala won his first design award in a competition sponsored by Iittala that would mark a lifelong relationship with lasting effects on his career and the company. As Iittala’s artistic director, Wirkkala’s unique artistic vision helped establish the company’s global reputation. Throughout his legendary career, the uniquely talented artist created more than four hundred glass objects for Iittala, many of which, like the Ultima Thule and Tapio series remain popular today.


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