1928-33

Paimio Tuberculosis Sanatorium

Paimio, Finland. Architect: Alvar Aalto

The Paimio Sanatorium is considered Aalto's most significant early building. As well as establishing his international reputation, it was also the catalyst for his uniquely humanist interpretation of Modernism.

1933

Bent L-leg

Aalvar Aalto's solid wood leg, bent 90°, with bent part laminated, was patented in 1933.

1933-35

Viipuri Municipal Library

Viipuri, Russioa (formerly Finland). Architect: Alvar Aalto 

The Viipuri library is considered one of Aalto's most important and beautiful buildings where the pure white functionalist style contrasts with the warmth of the wood interior. It is also the first project where Aalto extensively employed a furnishing system based on a standard component, the bent wooden L-Leg.

1935

Artek was founded by Alvar and Aino Aalto, Nils-Gustav Hahl and Maire Gullichsen


1937

World Exhibition in Paris
Finnish Pavilion by Aino and Alvar Aalto

International launch of the L-leg.

1937

Restaurant Savoy Helsinki

Luxurious restaurant interior design by Aino Aalto, custom furniture by Artek. This restaurant still exists and remains one of Helsinki's finest.

1938-39

Villa Mairea

Noormarkku, Finland. Architect: Alvar Aalto

Villa Mairea is a private residence designed by Alvar Aalto for Maire and Harry Gullichsen. Although Villa Mairea is extremely luxurious, Aalto considered it an experimental building where he could try out design solutions and materials which were applied to later buildings.

 

  1939

  Exhibition organized by Artek in Kunsthalle Helsinki

  The exhibition featured work by Matisse, Braque, Derain, Picasso, Rouault, Léger, Utrillo, Masson, Bonnard, Vuillard and Marie Laurencin, among others. The exhibition was the art sensation of the decade in Helsinki.

1939

World Exhibition in New York

Finnish Pavilion by Aino and Alvar Aalto
 

1940

Aino Aalto becomes CEO of Artek


1946

Launch of the Y-leg

The Y-leg has two 90° bends, originally made from an Aalto L-leg sawn in two. Nowadays the Y-leg is made from a laminated bend, and is still used in different sizes as part of chairs and tables.

 

1950

Maire Gullichsen becomes creative director of Artek. Opening of Galerie Artek.

 

1954

Launch of X-leg

Fan-shaped leg made from sawing an Aalto L-leg into five parts. Nowadays the X-leg is made from a laminated bend. The legs are dowelled into the seat or the table-top.

1956-61

Maison Louis Carré 

Bazoches-sur-Guyonne, France. Architect: Alvar Aalto

Alvar Aalto designed a private house for the prominent French art dealer Louis Carré, bringing work and life together in the same way Villa Mairea did. Maison Louis Carré is still considered one of Aalto's most important private houses. 

1976-2004

Ben af Schultén as Creative Director of Artek

 

1992

Proventus, a Swedish investment company, acquires Artek

 

2004-2009

Tom Dixon as Creative Director of Artek

 

2005

Mirkku Kullberg starts as Managing Director

 

2007

Artek Pavilion

designed by Shigeru Ban

Pavilions made for international exhibitions on design and architecture are an integral part of Artek's identity and ideology. The Artek Pavilion, “the Space of Silence”, was designed by Shigeru Ban for the 2007 Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan. After Milan, the pavilion was also erected in Helsinki, in the area between the Museum of Finnish Architecture and the Design Museum. In December 2007, the pavilion was reconstructed at Design Miami.

 

  2009

 Ville Kokkonen was appointed as Artek's design director

 

  2010

  The products of Ilmari Tapiovaara became part of

  Artek product range

 

2013

Finnish interior architect and furniture designer Yrjö Kukkapuro and Artek concluded a partnership agreement

 

2013

September 6, 2013 Vitra AG acquired Artek


2016

Artek Helsinki store moves from Etelä-Esplanadi to Keskuskatu in the heart of city. The new flagshipstore displays Artek’s own collection of furniture, lighting and accessories and products from like-minded companies.