Ilmari Tapiovaara - "Maija the Bee" Floor Lamp - Design Miami/ The global forum for collectible design
Shop All

Ilmari Tapiovaara

"Maija the Bee" Floor Lamp

This object listing has been archived.

Previously exhibited at Basel 2021.

Any questions? Contact a design specialist​.

At Design Miami/, our Design Specialists are here to assist with all your design needs.


The line of Maija lights designed by Ilmari Tapiovaara in the 1950s, were inspired by the children’s book Maya Bee, in particular the hive with its different layers. The result is the Maija lamp with the reclining discs showing the light is from a shimmering honeycomb. Tapiovaara developed several varieties and this particular piece and this piece featuring brass, is a rare variety.Tapiovaara was one of the most important Finnish interior architects and designers of his generation. He significantly shaped the international design of the 20th century. He had a focus on purity in line and colour – simplicity without sterility. Respect for craft traditions but a constant focus on new technological experiments. He was focusing on mass production ‘to give better to more’ and this led him to have interest for chromium plated tubular steel such as in the Kiki chair that had won the Gold Medal at the Milan Triennale of 1960.

Ilmari Tapiovaara


Ilmari Tapiovaara (1914-1999) was a renowned Finnish interior architect and designer. In his designs, Tapiovaara always sought to create a humane, well-lit and warm dwelling environment. Tapiovaara’s furniture pieces designed were always part of a whole, with the architecture as their starting point.

Ilmari Tapiovaara graduated in 1937 as interior architect from the department of furniture design of the Central School of Arts and Crafts. After graduating, he visited the Paris World’s Fair and during his stay in France he got an assistant’s position for six months at the office of Le Corbusier. Soon after coming back to Finland, Tapiovaara was hired by the Asko company, Finland’s largest furniture factory, where he worked as a designer and artistic director for a few years. Alongside dozens of chairs and other furniture pieces mostly for public premises, Tapiovaara also designed interiors for numerous banks, offices, hotels and shops since the 1940s. His most famous designs include TT40 table, Tale stool, Trienna table, Mademoiselle chair and rocking chair.

Of all materials, wood was the closest to Tapiovaara’s heart. The designer admired the works of Alvar Aalto and wanted to carry on Aalto’s ideas in his own design work. This was evident in applying wood to the idiom of functionalism and industrial production and in the fact that Tapiovaara adopted the principle of social equality of functionalism. Tapiovaara was also a teacher at the department of interior design at the Institute of Applied Arts and at the Helsinki University of Technology, where he sought to reform teaching towards industrial product design with the aid of international examples.

Ilmari Tapiovaara was awarded a total of six Gold Medals at the Milan Triennials of 1951, 1954, 1957, 1960 and 1964. He also received the Good Design Award in Chicago in 1951, Pro Finlandia medal in 1959, Finnish State Design Prize in 1971 and Furniture Prize of the SIO Interior Architects’ Association of Finland in 1990.

  • Date/


  • Material/

    Brass, Metal, Steel

  • Dimension/

    14.0 x 139.0 x 14.0 cm (5.5 x 54.7 x 5.5 in)

  • Style/


  • Heritage/


  • Ships from/


Shipping available worldwide. Objects are shipped directly from galleries.
Explore shipping options

You May Also Like


Trusted Sellers
Vetted for Authenticity
Seamless Experience
Client Protection