AT HOME WITH TYNELL
at home with Tynell in
At the heart of a 170-acre English countryside estate in Oxfordshire stands the maximalist-meets-mid-century retreat of interior designer Peter Mikic. Infused with greenery, touches of 1970s style, and warm, natural materials, it makes the perfect home for many of Paavo Tynell’s pendants and table lamps.
Built by Mikic and his partner, the 11,000 sq ft house is designed to blend into the surrounding landscape, working in harmony with the setting.
Interiors take their cues from the views, reserving bolder colors for inner rooms that are further from the glorious vistas.
As a designer himself, Mikic understands the seamlessness with which Tynell’s designs fit into almost any style of modern interior, catching the eye without dominating the space.
Mikic’s Tynell collection spans three decades of the designer’s career, chronicling the evolution of his craftsmanship from the iconic 9602 Floor Lamp of the late 1930s, to 1945’s 9209 ‘Helmet’ Table Lamp, and the square, painted-brass grid of the 9068 ‘Starry Sky’ ceiling lamp of 1965.
Brass, linen, rattan, glass – Tynell’s natural material choices slot gracefully into the house’s wood-and textile-led textural palette, contributing to the atmosphere of organic warmth throughout.
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On a forested island shore, a boat ride across the bay from the Finnish capital lies a serene waterfront villa whose white walls encompass one of the largest Tynell private collections in Finland. A hybrid of 1930s Finnish functionalism and 1950s summer-house style, the villa provides the perfect blend of rustic solitude and city accessibility for the academics and curators who make their home here.
Among the most notable pieces are a pair of standing floor lamps – two of just 36 ever put into production. Originally created for Helsinki's Domus Academica student residence complex in 1952, the curve-necked floor lamps make the ideal companions to a wall-mounted traditional Finnish rug, woven with a tulip pattern in 1836.
The collection exclusively comprises Tynell designs in brass, with no glass shades in evidence – a practical concession to raising three football-loving boys. “These lamps can withstand a football match,” the collector assures.
Finns use the term ‘kaamos’ to describe the winter months, when hours of natural sunlight are few and far between. The collector believes that Tynell’s lighting is ideal for bringing atmospheric light and warmth back to the house during the kaamos.
In the summer, when the sun seems to shine all day, the lamps still bring joy as decorative objects.
Throughout 2023, GUBI explores and celebrates the legacy of Paavo Tynell. Explore more stories from GUBI’s latest publication, Raisonné 03, below.
Combining the mind of an engineer with the soul of an artist, Paavo Tynell was one of the greatest lighting designers and metal craftsmen of the 20th century. In GUBI’s newest publication, RAISONNÉ 03, we explore the extraordinary body of work produced over Tynell’s six-decade career.
TYNELL IN HELSINKI
Arriving in Helsinki, or departing from it, travelers are met by design masterworks from some of the greatest figures in 20th-century Finnish design. Completed in 1919, Helsinki Central Station features art nouveau architecture by Eliel Saarinen, sculpture by Emil Wikström, and lighting by Paavo Tynell.
THE GENIUS OF PAAVO TYNELL
Paavo Tynell was born in Helsinki 12 years after the invention of the domestic light bulb. By the time he died in 1973, he was known fondly as ‘the man who illuminated Finland’.
by Paavo Tynell
Working closely with Paavo Tynell’s family, GUBI has embarked upon a journey of design archaeology, restoring Tynell’s sought-after masterworks to production and bringing the pieces back into design lovers’ homes.