Alvar Aalto
Finnish, 1898 - 1976
Paimio lounge chair, 1931–1932

H. 26 x W. 23 3/4 x D. 35 in.

The architect and designer Alvar Aalto gained fame for his bent plywood furniture. He created this lounge chair in the early 1930s for the Paimio Tuberculosis Sanatorium in Finland. He designed the chair’s contours to help patients sit in such a way to breathe easier. He also chose wood as his material, citing its warmth as an advantage over the cold metal furniture being produced by the German Bauhaus. The chair, a major landmark in Aalto’s development, influenced many young American and European furniture designers to use laminated plywood after the Second World War.