Ilmari Tapiovaara Pair of ‘Domus’ Dining Chairs in Birch
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Ilmari Tapiovaara, 'Domus' armchairs, birch, metal, Finland, design 1953
This is a wonderful set of early ‘Domus’ armchairs by Finnish designer Ilmari Tapiovaara. The frame is made from solid birch. Back and seating from laminated plywood. This model was designed with high attention to details, as seen in the curved armrests and solid legs. The first model of this chair was designed with solely wood, the only available material in postwar Finland. Tapiovaara created this chair with the idea of creating a comfortable chair that could be pulled close to a table. What is very interesting about this particular model are the brass-colored square joints that attach the back rest to the frame. Ilmari Tapiovaara designed this chair for the Domus Academica student housing complex in Helsinki. This chair has gained widespread reputation and is called the 'Finnchair' in the United States, it has won the American Good Design Award and received the Gold Medal at the Milan Triennale in 1951.
Ilmari Tapiovaara (1914-1999) was trained as an interior designer and at the beginning of his career, during World War II, Tapiovaara designed gear for the Finnish army, meaning that he got used to work with very common materials such as local woods and no nails or screws where available. Later in his career he founded his own practice with his wife and had many assignments for schools and universities.