Rare version of the “Kakkonen” stackable armchair No. 2. /15. Manufactured by Oy Huonekalu-ja Rakennustyötehdas Ab, Turku, Finland. 1930s.
Finmar label to the underside.
A good example of Aaltos formative years and early designs; this chair is made from laminated and solid birch and retains its original black finish.
Co-designed by Alvar Aalto and Otto Korhonen in 1930, the chair was manufactured over the years as four differing versions. This version is the rarest of the four. The design is similar to one of other versions in that the front legs protrude at the side. However, the front edge of the seat on this version is formed as a more severe right angle as shown in the detail fig.1 (The other version with protruding legs was rounded at the front). It also has a small decorative corner feature when seen from the front that is reminiscent of traditional Chinese chairs.
The chair was illustrated in Alvar Aalto Designer, Alvar Aalto museum p.69 and in Alvar & Aino design collection Bischofberger p.21
We are still researching this small table. It has similarities to various under-appreciated early British modernist designer/makers from the early c20th including Gerald Summers, Isokon/ Jack Pritchard etc. and captures the spirit of the early British constructivist architects and artists.
A handful of designer/makers like Summers and Isokon used plywood before the WWII. Unlike most other furniture makers of the day, they did not feel compelled to cover it in a veneer of a more exotic wood. In the early 30s Summers began to experiment with a special kind of plywood called “aeroplane ply” and, as Martha Deese wrote in the Journal of Design History, “this exceptionally thin and flexible material had a revolutionary impact on Summers’s emerging style” (Martha Deese, “Gerald Summers and Makers of Simple Furniture,” Journal of Design History, vol. 5, no. 3 (1992), pp. 183–205). During the period plywood enabled designers to evolve an organic idiom of curved surfaces and curvilinear outlines, which exploited the inherent capabilities of this pliable material. (*Cerio,2009)
The base of its sculptural design is made from 3mm aeroplane ply. The top that swivels around the base in three section can be folded away or left up as shown. The top is a thicker plywood.