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Stool 60
Pendant Lamp A330S Golden Bell
Kitchen Chair K65
Pendant Lamp A331 Beehive
Stool E60
Shelf 112
Kiila Coat Rack
Artek Poster Limited Edition
Special Edition
Kiila Coat Stand
Pendant Lamp A333 Turnip
Pendant Lamp A110
Kiila Bench
Atelier Chair
124° Mirror
Pendant Lamp AMA500
Pendant Lamp A338 Bilberry
Tables 81B / 82B / 83
Children's Stool N65
Pendant Lamp A201
Serving Trolley 901
Umbrella Stand 115
Bench 153
Aslak Chair
Pirkka Stool
Mademoiselle Rocking Chair
Wall Light A330S Golden Bell
Serving trolley 900
Rocket Stool

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Artek and modernist avant-garde design

Contemporary kitchen and dining room with Artek lighting

Founded in Helsinki in 1935 by the four young idealists Alvar Aalto, his wife Aino Aalto, the art collector Maire Gullichsen and the art historian Nils Gustav Hahl, Artek can be described as an avant-garde showcase project. Something alluded to in the word "Artek": a fusion of "art" and "technology" and thus symbolising the demand of the 1920s modernist movement that art and technology should unify to enable the opening of new possibilities. This motto, personally proclaimed in Germany by the Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius, also connected the Artek founders, who formulated their views – typically for the avant-garde – in a manifesto. Their aim was to create completely new environments for everyday life based on Alvar Aalto's design concept. With this claim, Artek developed into one of the most important protagonists in the field of modern design and one of the most innovative companies in Finland. Characteristic was and is Alvar Aalto's approach to developing standardized, individual components that can be easily put together and thus form comprehensive furniture series. The best and most famous example here is Alvar Aalto's "L-leg": a defining feature of Artek, and which is used in numerous seating and table designs by Alvar Aalto. The L-leg also reflects Aalto's fascination for the material wood, a further defining feature of Artek furniture. After long experiments with bent wood, Aalto invented the L-leg at the end of the 1920s, a genuine innovation at the time and still a unique, functional and elegant solution today.


Project planning with Artek


Artek furniture - from classic to contemporary

Although Artek was originally supposed to cover the production and sale of Alvar Aalto's furniture designs, the Artek repertoire grew increasingly in the course of the 20th century and today the company's portfolio includes furniture, furnishings and lights and is characterized by clarity, functionality and simplicity. In addition to the work of leading Finnish protagonists of Scandinavian modernism, such as Alvar Aalto and his wife Aino Aalto, Ilmari Tapiovaara or Tapio Wirkkala, the Artek portfolio also includes designs by internationally renowned, contemporary designers such as Daniel Rybakken, Hella Jongerius or Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec. Artek has flagship stores in Helsinki and Tokyo as well as sales offices in New York, Berlin, Stockholm and Tokyo. Artek Deutschland GmbH was opened in 2012 as a European sales centre in Berlin. Artek has been part of the Swiss furniture company Vitra since 2013, but is still active as an independent brand.


Artek AMA 500 pendant lamp

Artek Golden Bell lamp


Sustainable design from Finland

Artek furniture is almost exclusively produced in Finland and primarily in the so-called A-factory in Turku; a factory which was originally founded by Otto Korhonen, who was already making Alvar Aalto's furniture there in the late 1920s and experimenting with bending wood. In the spirit of Aalto, Artek continues to rely on modern series production in connection with traditional carpentry. Today the A-factory in Turku specializes in bending solid and laminated wood as well as in traditional joinery and painting. Artek mainly processes spruce and birch wood from Finnish forests. All wood is FSC-certified and is checked by hand before entering the production stream. A principle that is as simple as it is logical in terms of sustainability at Artek is that every piece of furniture should last at least as long as a tree needs time to grow. Sustainability, the processing of regional raw materials and safety also guarantee ethical production processes and the highest quality at Artek and all Artek partners.


Artek Stool 60 in an exhibition in Helsinki

Artek design classic Stool 60


Artek furniture production then and now: authentic craftsmanship


Artek A Factory

Artek stands for high-quality wooden furniture

Production of Artek furniture


Chronology of Alvar Aalto's designs


Further information on project planning with Artek (ca. 10 MB)

Artek A110 pendant lamp



smow sells exclusively originals from licensed manufacturers and is an official trading partner of Artek.


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