Designer for June: Paavo Tynell

Kesäkuun suunnittelija: Paavo Tynell

Photo: Eliot Elisofon / Time Life / Getty Images

Paavo Tynell (1890-1973), the world's most popular Finnish lighting designer, is a sought-after name, especially in the USA. His lamps fetch top prices at auctions, both in Finland and around the world.
Tynell's unique lamps delight with their nature themes, elegance, playfulness and warmth. These eye-catching lamps are a focal point of home decoration. 

Table lamp model 9212, Paavo Tynell, 1940s 



Paavo Viljo Tynell was born in 1890 in Helsinki and died in 1973 in Tuusula.
He began his career as a tinsmith's apprentice and at the same time studied at the Taideteollisuuskeskuskoulussa (Central School of Arts and Crafts), where he was transferred from apprentice to teacher because of his qualifications. At Taidetakomo Koru he created his first brass lamps.
In 1918 Tynell, together with the artist Emil Wikström, co-founded Taito Oy, of which he was chief designer and director. The factory was established to create art and became a major lighting manufacturer, collaborating with important architects such as J.S. Sirén, Erkki Huttunen, Alvar Aalto and Aarne Ervi.
In 1953, Taito merged with Idman, where Tynell continued as designer.
He then became an independent designer, also designing luminaires for American lighting manufacturers.

Flower spots on a magnificent Tynell ceiling light, model K1-9/5, Idman, mid-20th century


As the old saying goes, Tynell was one of the most used Finnish public lighting designers in Finland in the 1930s and 1950s. He really did light Finland, and a little outside its borders.

Tynell's most famous works include the Glass Palace in Helsinki and the lighting of the UN Secretary General's office.
In addition, lighting fixtures can be found in the Parliament House, Hotel Vaakuna, Cafe Ekberg and Aalto University in Töölö.
Tynell's popularity in the USA was inspired by the Finnish export promotion centre Finland House, opened in New York in 1948, with interior design by architect Aarne Ervi.
His lamps have also been exhibited in numerous exhibitions and can be found in the collections of prestigious art collections and museums around the world.

Photo: Gubi As


Paavo Tynelli's production has been wide and varied.
His production has had a significant influence on modern lighting design, also on an international level.
Tynell designed luminaires both as mass-produced and one-offs.
Commissioned works were often large and sculptural, full of detail. The series-produced lamps in the basic collection, on the other hand, had a clean-cut elegance.
He also designed some unique lamps for wealthy American homes.

Tynelli's most famous and popular lamp is probably the "Snowflake" (photo below).

Paavo Tynell: kattovalaisin malli 9041 ”Lumihiutale”, noin 1950, Artcurial (Pariisi), 87 000 e.

Photo: Artcurial


Although Paavo Tynell is no longer with us, his legacy lives on. The lamps he designed are still highly valued for their beauty and quality craftsmanship. Tynell's lamps are prized collectors' items and they continue to bring light and warmth into the homes of many people around the world.

Since 2018, the Danish company Gubi AS has been manufacturing some Tynell's models as new production.

Discover our stunning PAAVO TYNELL collection here
If you are interested in a luminaire, please contact us via the enquiry form on our website or by email:

Pair of table lamps model 9227, Paavo Tynell, Taito Oy, 1940s

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