Tea Trolley - Scandinavian Design Classic
The Finnish architect and designer Alvar Aalto counts as a pioneer in plywood production. Influenced by the German Bauhaus, he experimented with this material from 1927. The designer, who always called his style ‘organic functionalism’, alluding to his fondness for organic and soft shapes, founded the company Artek with his wife, Aino, in Helsinki in 1935. The success of his furniture can partly be attributed to the invention of a new bending process, which allowed for the production of the first cantilevered wooden chair frames. Alvar Aalto patented the process the same year.
The frame of the patented 901 side table on wheels appears reversed and in a slightly different proportion to the legendary Armchair 41 Paimio, which was presented a few years beforehand. Aalto designed the Tea Trolley 901 in 1936, and it was presented to the public for the first time at the Milan Triennale.
The trolley with practical linoleum shelves - a Scandinavian speciality - is also located in the Alvar Aalto Museum built by Aalto in Jyväskylä, which is intended for changing exhibitions. The big brother of the trolley, the Tea Trolley 900, has a somewhat shorter surface and, instead of the bottom shelf, has an open basket under the handle.
The frame of the Tea Trolley 901 is made of birch wood with transparent varnish. The wheels are made from MDF, painted white, and have black rubber tyres. The shelf surfaces are available in black linoleum or white laminate.