The Alvar Aalto vase and Iittala’s colour of the year

April 3, 2019

The view from our Helsinki apartment was as white as the interior decor. With brooding snow filled clouds, ice covered parkland and the white Carrara marble of Finlandia Hall dominating the skyline opposite.

As nighttime fell, this giant of modernist architecture designed in 1972 by Alvar Aalto, took on another dramatic persona. Swathed in the deepest blue light it glowed in the darkness and as I starred on in amazement I realised it had taken on the same luminous quality of another iconic piece of his work; the Savoy vase.

Revolutionary glassware

First created in 1936 this elegant piece of glassware was revolutionary. Still produced by Finnish brand Iittala today this infamous organic ‘wave’ shaped vase can be found in homes and design museums across the world.

For almost a century, leading artists of their time including Alvar Alto and Tapio Wirkkala,  and the brand’s latest collaborator Jasper Morrison, have worked alongside the Iittala master craftsmen to design pieces that have continually challenged their skills and capabilities.

Drawing even further on this distinguished history each spring, Iittala select a ‘colour of the year’; bringing back to life, through a selected range of products, a single colour using secret recipes held in their very own glass colour library.

Serene sea blue

For 2019 they have chosen a serene sea blue, and one of the twenty items to be included in this very special collection will be the individually mouth-blown Savoy.

Inspired by the thousands of lakes across Finland and its long coastline to the Baltic Sea, this soothing and energising colour signifies just how much Finnish life revolves around water; from their long summers when it helps to cool and calm, to its harsh and bracing frozen winters.

Alongside Alvo Aalto and his wife Aino’s pieces, new items include a number of my own personal favourites, Matti Klenell’s modernist Nappula candleholders and Oiva Toikka’s Kastehelmi collection, with both available in beautiful aqua tones for the very first time.

So with mid-blue set to be a big trend this year, will you be adding it to your home?

All items are available now, to find out more visit the Iittala website.

All images courtesy of Iittala.

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