Tribute to Ilmari Tapiovaara's Iconic Designs

As one of the greatest Finnish designers, Ilmari Tapiovaara's iconic designs remain very recognizable and highly popular to this day. His spindle-back chair design has become a classic and even a design essential, with manufacturers still duplicating the simple lines and sturdy structure of his chairs. Even years later, mid-century enthusiasts continue to covet Tapiovaara's famous designs for their versatility and warmth of well-loved plywood.

Tapiovaara is most well-known for his 1946 Domus Chair, which he designed with his wife, Annikki, for the Domus Academica. He worked in several capacities as an architect, furniture designer, interior designer, art director, and professor in Europe and America. He was given six gold medals for design at the Milan Triennials as well as many other design awards in Finland. He studied at the Central School for Applied Arts in Helsinki, and worked for Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe. 

The Helsinki Design Museum celebrated Ilmari Tapiovaara's 100th year anniversary in September with a retrospective of his work. (Born September 7, 1914 - January 31, 1999)

Pirkka Dining Series Set, Sarfatti Spiral Chandelier

Plywood Folding Desk, Tapiovaara Style High Back Spindle Chair

Tapiovaara Style Side Chairs

Photos by David Cortes for Amsterdam Modern


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