During Stockholm Design Week 2024, Vaarnii presents a new Ronan Bouroullec chair – the ‘Maasto’, created by the French designer as 'an ode to pine'.
Launched in 2022, Vaarnii is a Finnish design brand celebrating the natural beauty of pine through inspired collaborations with contemporary designers that range from Kwangho Lee to Studiomama, Mac Collins and Philippe Malouin among others. Through its collection, Vaarnii reimagines the contemporary Finnish design vernacular, with a style that is equally brutalist and sophisticated.
Ronan Bouroullec chair for Vaarnii: an ode to pine
Bouroullec's ‘Maasto’ dining chair for Vaarnii combines a simple design gesture with careful engineering that elevates the material's natural expressiveness. The designer (whose work and inspirations are explored in a new Phaidon book, Ronan Bouroullec: Day after Day) embraced Vaarnii's brutalist design manifesto with an angular chair that merges traditional design codes with a contemporary aesthetic language.
The deep seat is flanked by shorter armrests (a version without armrests is also available), while the gently slanted back and thick legs contribute to the structural integrity of the design. The side and back panels allow the pine's grain to emerge, its richness creating a dramatic contrast with the chair's simple construction.
While the seat and backrest are made of solid pine, pine plywood is employed for the chair's sides offering enhanced strength to the chair. This is the first time Vaarnii uses a composite wood and an important moment in the company's experimentation with furniture construction.
'Embracing plywood as a new addition to the Vaarnii material palette led to the surprising discovery that high-quality Finnish plywood did not exist, despite pine being the most populous Finnish timber,' reads a note from the company introducing the design. 'Through the production of this important design, Vaarnii took the decision to produce our own Finnish pine plywood to the highest standards possible, becoming our own material supplier and reviving a lost production skill in the process.'
Adds Bouroullec: 'Working with Vaarnii is like working in a bakery: the baker uses flour to produce something simple and good; here we use pine to produce something good, durable, the grace of simplicity.'
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Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.
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