In the design of Yrjö Kukkapuro, ideas often flow freely from one solution to another. Often the ideas are inspired by an architect’s desire to furnish a newly designed building with furniture, whose look and form speak the same language as the architecture.
The A500 series was created to colour a sterile hospital space
The A500 series is a typical example of this. It's starting point was a commission for a hospital in Sweden. Interior designer Walter Weis (1934-2012) wanted to bring colour and artistic quality into sterile patient rooms with furniture that would still be hygienic and easy to move around. Weis knew the constructivist style of Kukkapuro and commissioned seating from him.
Thus a series of chairs was born whose metal parts, wooden armrests and upholstery parts made it possible to combine colours, sometimes in the spirit of happy coincidence. The seats had height variations, for example a high version designed for people with bad feet. Even today, you can still come across this chair at a Finnish healthcare centre.
The idea for a rocking chair was inspired by the birth of a grandchild
The creation of the rocking chair in the series was inspired by the birth of Kukkapuro's first grandchild in 1986. When pampering the baby, the family noticed the need for a rocking chair. In addition, Irmeli Kukkapuro, Yrjö's artist spouse, had a desire for a rocking chair. The commission was completed quickly, as Kukkapuro drew and realized for the A500 series lobby chair postmodern “lake waves” for the toddlers and grandmothers to sit on. This is the reason Yrjö Kukkapuro prefers blue rockers reminiscent of the surface of a summer lake. However, many colour variations exist and that is just fine. After all, there is plenty of diversity in nature too, the designer himself thinks.
A version of the rocking chair for kids
The A500 rocking chair became a perennial favourite of the series, and for over 30 years adults and children have wanted to rock in it. In 2016, an idea to make a children’s version of the rocking chair was born. Kukkapuro realized this staying faithful to his principles. The dimensions of the seat were retained in width to match the adult version, so the parent can for example sit in the children’s chair reading a fairy tale. Also when the child grows, the chair will not become too small. The rockers do not rock backwards so far that falling would be possible. The chair can be recommended for everyone from toddlers to grandpas.
At the moment, already the third generation of Kukkapuros rocks in the chair, when a grandchild has received a rocking chair of his own.
Text: Isa Kukkapuro-Enbom
Photography: Ofer Amir, oferamir.com. Model in the photographs Neo de Vizcaya.