The Paimio Sanatorium, Aino and Alvar Aaltos’ groundbreaking functionalist building, was completed 90 years ago as of 2023. Artek is commemorating the moment with the release of the Paimio Sanatorium Anniversary Collection to raise awareness for the extraordinary building and support for the Paimio Sanatorium Foundation.
Paimio Sanatorium first opened it’s doors in June 1933, set among pine forests near the town of Paimio in southwest Finland. It was designed as a “medical instrument” to care for tuberculosis patients, with every detail geared toward the needs of their recovery. The Aaltos created what would go on to be some of their most iconic furniture designs for the hospital, then added a select palette of colors throughout to tie it together into an all encompassing healing experience.
Tuberculosis patients continued to be treated in the Paimio Sanatorium until the 1960s, at which time the facilities switched over to acting as a general hospital until the 2010s. Since 2020, the building has been run by the Paimio Sanatorium Foundation to protect the structure and furniture while simultaneously developing new uses for the facilities. Artek is one of the Foundation’s founding members, and makes it a priority to provide for this new endeavor through communication and financial support.
Designed in 1932 for the sanatorium, the original Armchair 41 – also known as Paimio Armchair – is one of Alvar Aalto’s furniture masterpieces. Using materials and forms that would promote wellbeing and recovery, the light, organic structure was designed to make it easier for patients to breathe. Aalto used bent birch wood and lamella rather than tubular steel, both for its warm, tactile qualities and because it was easy to clean.
The Paimio Sanatorium Anniversary Edition of Armchair 41 is available with a seat and frame in oiled natural birch, in a limited and numbered edition of 90 pieces. For every Paimio Sanatorium Anniversary Armchair 41 sold, Artek will donate €500 to the the Paimio Sanatorium Foundation.
The iconic Stool 60 is one of the most recognized pieces in design history, which Alvar Aalto created in 1933 for the sanatorium. Recently the Alvar Aalto Foundation conducted a research project that uncovered the bottom most layers of wall paint in the sanatorium, revealing green, blue, and yellow. As part of the Paimio Sanatorium Anniversary Collection, Stool 60 is now available in three colors that match the building’s original color scheme designed by Alvar Aalto and artist Eino Kauria.
The trio of hues were initially pulled from the patients’ everyday lives and treatment plans: forest walks (green), fresh air (blue), and sun bathing (yellow). For every Paimio Sanatorium Anniversary Stool 60 sold, Artek will support the Paimio Sanatorium Foundation with a donation of €30.
Every anniversary piece is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity, featuring Eino Kauria’s painting of the sanatorium’s color palette.
The Paimio Sanatorium Anniversary Collection is available at Artek stores in Helsinki and Toyko, as well as select distribution partners in Finland, Japan, Korea, and Australia. Anniversary editions are available for purchase as long as stock lasts or for one year, until June 2024. To learn more about the collection, visit artek.fi.