Interior design17.01.2011

First-rate birch turns into Artek furniture

Only the best birch with consistent quality is used for manufacturing Artek’s furniture in accordance with the detailed instructions.

Only the best birch with consistent quality is used for manufacturing Artek’s furniture in accordance with the detailed instructions.

Furniture manufacturer HKT-Korhonen, based in Kaarina, southwest Finland, has been buying Koskisen’s panel and birch products since the 1970s.

Combining Finnish handicraft tradition and modern technology, furniture manufacturerHKT-Korhonen is a family company that provides product development, production and logistics services to furniture design companies.  For more than a century now, the company has been manufacturing timeless pieces of furniture in Kaarina, near the city of Turku, honouring the legacy of cabinetmaker and Managing Director Otto Korhonen and architect/designer Alvar Aalto.

Plywood and chipboard products manufactured by Koskisen from specially selected birch logs are transformed into Artek chairs, tables and trolleys at Korhonen’s furniture factory. Half of the production is exported around the world. 

“Mutual understanding, high-quality products, the right pricing and good relations are the keys to our longstanding and efficient co-operation,” says Jukka Korhonen, the third-generation Managing Director of the company.

Solid birch and thin-veneer plywood

In Korhonen’s view, efficient co-operation is marked by uncomplicated handling of all kinds of issues. Koskisen has developed the products according to Korhonen’s needs to such an extent that there are rarely any complaints.

“We mainly use Koskisen’s air-dried sawn birch, which is delivered to us in the summer and early fall. We order thin-veneer plywood year-round as needed. It is used in, for example, chair backrests. Chipboard in different thicknesses is used in Artek’s tabletops,” Korhonen says.

Steady co-operation

Korhonen’s design furniture has to meet rigorous quality criteria. Only the best birch with consistent quality is used for manufacturing Artek’s furniture in accordance with the detailed instructions. Sawn birch used by Korhonen is not kiln dried in order to maintain the wood’s natural colour.

Sales Manager Tomi Viitanen also ensures the quality of the chipboard delivered to Korhonen.

“From a sales point of view, such long-term, diverse and steady co-operation is a joy. As regards product development, we have found good solutions concerning the chipboard’s cell structure, for example,” Viitanen says and also points out that the development of products that better serve customers’ needs is continuous.