Suspended Illumination - Pendant Lights AMA500 & A201

Suspended Illumination - Pendant Lights AMA500 & A201

Pendant Light A201 Säynätsalo Town Hall Library

Alvar Aalto believed that the purpose of architecture is to ‘bring the material world into harmony with human life.’ To truly appreciate the scope of this design philosophy, few destinations can compare with Villa Mairea. Created by the Aaltos for their friend and Artek co-founder Maire Gullichsen and her husband Harry, Villa Mairea is widely recognised as one of the great masterpieces of 20th-century architecture. Each detail was given thought and consideration and lighting – perhaps unsurprisingly for two native Finns acquainted with Nordic winters – was of great importance.

Pendant Light AMA500_Villa_Mairea_photo_Rauno_Traskelin_courtesy_Mairea_Foundation
AMA500 pendant light hanging in the library of the Aaltos’ masterpiece Villa Mairea.

Today you can still find Aino Aalto’s timeless Pendant Light AMA500 in the villa’s library. Suitable as a single light source over a desk or dining table, the AMA500 casts a soft, warm light; glare is reduced, while a small amount of ambient light passes through the upper decorative brass ring, creating beautiful reflections. In 2019, Artek relaunches the AMA500 in classic white with brass details, and in a limited edition deep green, identical to that of the pendant light hanging in the Villa Mairea’s library.

Launched alongside AMA500 is another pendant light, A201. Originally designed in 1952 for the Säynätsalo Town Hall, Pendant Light A201 possesses the sculptural quality common to Alvar Aalto’s lighting designs. Created for the library inside the town hall, the Aaltos liked the design so much they featured a triple variation of it in their private home. The A201 is made from formed sheet steel; light exits the lower and upper part of the shade and creates a beautiful halo. Produced in classic white, also with brass details, Pendant Light A201 is also available in a limited edition version deep red, the exact shade of the variation that hangs over the dining table in the Aaltos’ private Helsinki home.

Pendant Light A201 Säynätsalo Town Hall Library
A201 pendant light hanging in the Säynätsalo Town Hall Library

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