Teno Velbri/1938

Eesti NSV Riiklik Kunstiinstituut, 1964

State Art Institute of the Estonian SSR, 1964

Teno Velbri on sisearhitekt ja disainer, kes töötas aastakümneid mööblitööstuse Standard peaarhitektina. Tema käe all on valminud nii masstootmisse läinud kontori-, köögi- ja elutoamööbli kavandeid kui ka arvukaid erilahendusena teostatud interjööre omaaegsetele riigi- ja kultuuritegelastele.

Teno Velbri is an interior architect and a designer who worked for decades as Chief Architect at the Standard Furniture Factory in Tallinn. Designs for office-, kitchen-, and living-room furniture have taken shape under his pencil and gone into mass production, and he has drafted an abundance of specialised interior solutions for state- and cultural figures over the years.

Interview. Teno Velbri (excerpts)


I feel that everything has to be comfy and pleasant. It needn’t be so ruddy sterile like in a hospital. Looking at contemporary design homes in magazines… I wouldn’t know how to live there. They seem somehow cold. Not human.

I am of the opinion that there is no point in joining the crowd that copies global design thought. It won’t work.

Having a computer is a nice thing, no argument there, but you need a chair as well. It seems that people don’t do anything [with their own hands] anymore. Damn it, one should at least be able to draw a straight line.


Estonians are, actually, forest people. The forest has always sheltered us. Russians, for example, are afraid of the forest. Estonians find shelter there. Wood is in our genes.

Wood is, indeed, my favourite material, I can’t help it. When I built my own house, I never considered any other material. Speaking of the wood, my emotional favourite is pine. The grain is nice and the material has a warm feel to me. I do not like oak or ash that much. You can make nice things from spruce. Floors used to be made so that after a bunch of pine boards, a few whitewood (spruce) boards were thrown in, and then pine again, because pine becomes darker with age, spruce doesn’t. I don’t know why I like pine but it has always been this way.

The best smell ever is the smell of the wooden exterior lining of an old house.

Ethnic? I do not know how ethnic it (i.e. interior architecture) needs to be. I have created only one ethnic furniture set - “Estonia.” I am not sure whether wood design needs to be that ethnic. I like plump features. But I think there are few like me out there who prefer such unrefined things. Nowadays, there is a little too much stone, a little too much metal, a little too much plastic. Quite honestly, does one see pure wood at all?

Aiamööbel, IV kursus, 1963, juhendaja E. Velbri

Yard furniture, 4th year, 1963, supervisor E. Velbri

Puhkeruumi seinavaated ja kamin, IV kursus, 1963, juhendaja V. Tamm

Break-room wall views and fireplace, 4th year, 1963, supervisor V. Tamm

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