Metsovaara and Puunveisto Oy

The Finnish interior architect and designer Carl-Gustaf Vilhelm Hiort af Ornäs (1911–1996) designed the Rialto chair, which was included in the XI Milan Triennial in 1957, where Marjatta Metsovaara also participated. The furniture designed by Hiort af Ornäs has been manufactured by Puunveisto Oy in Lauttasaari, a carpentry factory he founded in 1945. His hopes were to design modern furniture in seamless collaboration with carpenters, like his Danish colleagues. Over the following decades, his wish came true as the fruitful cooperation resulted in an impressive collection of sculptural and extremely high-quality furniture.

Hiort af Ornäs was a perfectionist and idealist who strived for perfection in every piece of furniture. During his time, newspapers repeatedly wrote about the quality and refined finish of the furniture he designed. His example was also estimated to force other Finnish furniture manufacturers to raise their quality standards. He was ambitious about his work but modest about himself. Instead of building his brand, the results of his work were allowed to speak for themselves. Thanks to the small production series, exciting design, and high quality, Hiort of Ornäs furniture are one of the most refined and the most beautiful in modern design. Ornasdesign nowadays reproduces these in Finland.

Metsovaara had its sewing department and logistics center at Lauttasaari and was the leading supplier of furniture fabrics to Puunveisto Oy. The picture above shows an original Rialto Chair with the Comfort II furniture fabric for which Marjatta Metsovaara received the Gold Medal at the XII Milan Triennial in 1960. Pictured below is an original Comfort II fabric exhibited at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum in New York.

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