Ceiling lamp ‘Beehive’ model A331 designed by Alvar Aalto for Valaistustyo,
FInland. 1953.

Painted aluminium and polished brass.

H: 30 cm/ 11 3/4"
D: 33 cm/ 13"

True to its name, the ’Beehive’ is a distinctive structure that has become one of the most recognisable pendant light designs by Alvar Aalto. This spectacular early example produced by the original manufacturer Valaistusyö features brown painted aluminium and polished brass accents. Due to the nature of the layered structure and position of the shades, an elegant and glare-free light is produced that gives off a sense of warmth that matches the material colour tones. Interestingly, this was originally designed for Jyväskylä University in Finland for use in its buildings before finding success and recognition worldwide.

Alvar Aalto was a Finnish architect and designer. His work includes architecture, furniture, lighting, and glassware, as well as sculptures and paintings. He never regarded himself as an artist, seeing painting and sculpture as "branches of the tree whose trunk is architecture." The pure Functionalist phase in Aalto’s work lasted for several years. It enabled him to make an international breakthrough, largely because of Paimio Sanatorium (1929-1933), an important Functionalist milestone. Aalto had adopted the principals of user-friendly, functional design in his architecture, and it was characteristic of Aalto to treat each building as a complete work of art – right down to the furniture and light fittings. The design of his furniture combined practicality and aesthetics with series production, encouraging a more beautiful everyday life in the home.

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