A stunning, rare and early example of an Alvar Aalto Model 400 "Tank Chair" circa 1930s. The cantilevered frame is constructed of bent birch, and the body of the chair is upholstered in a green boucle (looped or curled in French). The colorful textile contrasts beautiful against the warm birch frame. The wood was refinished to see it's beautiful layers.
As voluminous as it is comfortable, Armchair 400 was created by Alvar Aalto in 1936 for an exhibition at the Milan Triennale, where it was promptly awarded a prize. The chair owes its nickname “Tank” to its distinctive wide and sturdy armrests made of form-bent birch and to its robust upholstery. The springy cantilevered frame offers a flexible, comfortable seat. A favorite since the 1930s, Armchair 400 remains effortlessly modern.
This is the perfect chair for any space. Whether you are looking to add a pop of color to a more neutral sitting room, or create a more moody atmosphere in your office, this classic Mid-Century Modern design is a true conversation starter.
Check out it's sister chair, the Alvar Aalto Model 45 to create a unique look.
Dimensions: 28.5"H x 28.5"W x 21"D
Seat Height: 15"
If you want to see it or have any questions, text Nicole (619) 300-3551
About the Designer:
An architect and designer, Alvar Aalto deserves an immense share of the credit for bringing Scandinavian modernism to a prominent place in the global arena. In both his buildings and in his vintage furniture — which ranges from chairs, tables and lighting to table- and glassware — Aalto’s sensitivity to the natural world and to organic forms and materials tempered the hardness of rationalist design.
Relatively few Aalto buildings exist outside Finland. (Just four exist in the United States, and only one — the sinuous 1945 Baker House dormitory at M.I.T. — is easily visited.) International attention came to Aalto, whose surname translates to English as “wave,” primarily through his furnishings.
Instead of the tubular metal framing favored by the Bauhaus designers and Le Corbusier, Aalto insisted on wood. His aesthetic is best represented by the Paimio armchair, developed in 1930 as part of his overall design of a Finnish tuberculosis sanatorium. Comfortable, yet light enough to be easily moved by patients, the chair’s frame is composed of two laminated birch loops; the seat and back are formed from a single sheet of plywood that scrolls under at the headrest and beneath the knees, creating a sort of pillow effect. Aalto’s use of plywood had enormous influence on Charles and Ray Eames, Arne Jacobsen, Marcel Breuer and others who later came to the material.
Concerned with keeping up standards of quality in the production of his designs, Aalto formed the still-extant company Artek in 1935, along with his wife, Aino Aalto, whose glass designs were made by the firm. In the latter medium, in 1936 the Aaltos together created the iconic, undulating Savoy vase, so-called for the luxe Helsinki restaurant for which the piece was designed.
Artek also produced Aalto pendants and other lighting designs, many of which — such as the Angel’s Wing floor lamp and the Beehive pendant — incorporate a signature Aalto detail: shades made of concentric enameled-metal rings graduated down in diameter. The effect of the technique is essential Alvar Aalto: at once precise, simple, and somehow poetic.