Inside Out (Australia)

‘901’ tea trolley by Alvar Aalto for Artek


The form: A two-tiered trolley in laminated steam-bent birch. What makes it special: Alvar Aalto, a highly accomplish­ed architect, artist, furniture designer and sculptor, was also the co-founder of Artek (short for ‘art + technology’), a company that brought Finland to global attention as early as 1935. Like most of Aalto’s designs, the ‘901’ trolley, designed in 1936, contains a timber loop forming each side of the piece. This shape, often referred to as the ‘Lamella’ loop, brings an inherent organic quality to Aalto’s work and moves it well away from the Bauhaus movement that existed at a similar time in Germany. While Aalto admired the Bauhaus movement and the bent-steel tube furniture of Marcel Breuer, Mart Stam and Mies van der Rohe, he gravitated towards a more natural aesthetic and pursued the use of Finland’s greatest resource – birch trees. The ‘901’ is offffered in four variants. The two most original versions come with a clear lacquered timber frame, white high-pressure laminate (HPL) shelves and white lacquered MDF wheels, or with black linoleum shelves and white lacquered wheels. Dutch designer Hella Jongerius updated the colour schemes in 2015 to include a variant in clear lacquered birch with cream linoleum shelves and wheels, and another with a black lacquered frame, a peat linoleum top shelf and wheels with a black laminate bottom shelf. Expect to pay: $3258.20. Buy at: Anibou,

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