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Miniatures Armchair Nr. 42

Alvar Aalto, 1932

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In his designs, Alvar Aalto combined Scandinavian craft traditions and his own affinity to nature with the functional ideas of the Bauhaus. This led to an exchange of ideas with Marcel Breuer, which later influenced the work of both men. Armchair No. 42 was presented for the first time at an exhibition held in conjunction with the Nordic Building Forum in 1932. With a simple three-part construction, the design ensures a high degree of comfort: the cantilever base flexes in response to the user’s weight and the plywood seat shell follows the contours of the body. In recognition of its pleasant tactile qualities and favourable insulating properties, Aalto executed the chair in natural birchwood with a black or white lacquer finish for the seat shell.
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Miniatures Collection
For over two decades, the Vitra Design Museum has been making miniature replicas of milestones in furniture design from its collection. The Miniatures Collection encapsulates the entire history of industrial furniture design – moving from Historicism and Art Nouveau to the Bauhaus and New Objectivity, from Radical Design and Postmodernism all the way up to the present day. Exactly one sixth the size of the historical originals, the chairs are all true to scale and precisely recreate the smallest…
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