Pre-loved perfection: ten designs define a decade of Artek 2nd Cycle

Artek 2nd Cycle, the brand’s platform for pre-loved design, celebrates its tenth anniversary with an exhibition, ‘Ten’ (until 6 November 2021), and an exclusive e-commerce pop-up

Wooden chair with black metal frame, left, and rocking chair with red seat and back, right
Left, ‘Domus Chair’, 1946. Right, ‘A509 Rocking Chair’, 1986
(Image credit: Left, Ilmari Tapiovaara. Right, Yrjö Kukkapuro)

Artek 2nd Cycle is marking its tenth anniversary with an exhibition at its Helsinki store. ‘Ten’, which will run until 6 November 2021, puts the spotlight on ten pre-loved pieces that encompass the brand’s mission and story so far.

Artek’s platform for pre-loved Finnish design came to life after the brand’s team began collecting secondhand Artek furniture designed by founders Alvar and Aino Aalto. A few years later, in 2011, this pastime took tangible shape in a dedicated Helsinki store, and thus Artek 2nd Cycle was born. Originally created to give pre-owned furniture and objects a second life, it has now grown to sell everything from carpets, tableware and ceramics to fine-art prints and lighting. Designers included range from the celebrated – such as Yrjö Kukkapuro, Paavo Tynell and Alvar and Aino Aalto – to the newer and less well-known.

tower of glasses

‘Bölgeblick’ schnapps glasses, Model no. 4056, 1932

(Image credit: Aino Aalto)

The platform is led by its respect for the past, and an admiration for traditional production methods. By conducting a deep-dive into the evolving nature of production methods, or enabling the reintroduction of colours and material for new, long-lasting designs, it allows Artek to look forward to long-term changes.

The store celebrates the enduring nature of design championed by Artek’s pieces. The brand subscribes to both sustainable methods and a circular economy, championing the use of natural materials, and parts that can be repaired, rather than disposed of, a philosophy first outlined in 1935 at the company’s inception.

Now, this rich history is encompassed in the exhibition, which showcases ten pieces that define the last decade. Furniture ranges from the ‘Stool 60’, designed by Alvar Aalto and complete with a rich, aged hue, to Ilmari Tapiovaara’s classic ‘Domus Chair’. Aino Aalto’s schnapps glasses from the highly coveted ‘Bölgeblick’ range join a lamp, a rocking chair, door handles and a vanity mirror by designers including Ben af Schultén, Maija Heikinheimo, Paavo Tynell, and Yrjö Kukkapuro.

All designs can be purchased in person through the Helsinki store or through a digital pop-up shop on a first-come first-served basis.

Artek Alvar Aalto stool in wood

‘Stool 60’ , 1933

(Image credit: Alvar Aalto)

Circular hand mirror

Hand mirror, 1952

(Image credit: Maija Heikinheimo)

Door handles in metal

Door handles, 1962

(Image credit: Alvar Aalto)

Table light with light blue shade and base

‘Table Light 9227’, 1950

(Image credit: Paavo Tynell)

Wooden bookcase

Wall shelf, 1940

(Image credit: anonymous)

Alvar Aalto armchair with wooden frame and zebra print upholstery

‘Armchair 402’ by Alvar Aalto, 1933

(Image credit: Alvar Aalto)


‘Ten’ at the Artek 2nd Cycle store in Helsinki is open until 6 November 2021; each Thursday and Friday from 11am to 6pm, and on Saturdays from 11am to 3pm, as well as by appointment. Additionally, an outpost of the exhibition can be visited at the nearby Artek Helsinki store, also until 6 November.

The Artek 2nd Cycle digital pop-up shop can be found at


Pieni Roobertinkatu 4
00130 Helsinki


Hannah Silver is the Art, Culture, Watches & Jewellery Editor of Wallpaper*. Since joining in 2019, she has overseen offbeat design trends and in-depth profiles, and written extensively across the worlds of culture and luxury. She enjoys meeting artists and designers, viewing exhibitions and conducting interviews on her frequent travels.