The fur­ni­ture brand that’s syn­ony­mouswith­dan­ish­mod­ernism

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Style | Design -

In 1908, when thedan­ish cab­i­net­mak­er­carl­hansen opened a small fur­ni­ture­work­shop on thedan­ish is­land of Funen, he couldn’t have guessed that just over a cen­tury later it­would be one of the­most revered de­sign brands in the­world. Or that it­would still be based in the small town ofgel­sted – all­white­washed churches and half-tim­bered cot­tages – and run by his own grand­son, Knud Erikhansen.

When Knud Erik took the helm in 2002, Carl Hansen & Søn was not quite the in­ter­na­tional pow­er­house it is to­day. The com­pany had worked away dis­creetly, hand- craft­ing Dan­ish classics such as those by Hans Jweg­ner, whose long­stand­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion with the brand be­gan in 1949. It was Carl Hansen’s son, Hol­ger, who took a chance on­weg­ner, then a young un­known; it would be Carl’s grand­son, Knud Erik, who recog­nised thatweg­ner’s de­signs were as­sets that could pro­pel the man­u­fac­turer to global suc­cess. As well as oth­er­mid-cen­tury Dan­ish lu­mi­nar­ies such asole­wan­scher, Kaarek­lint and Frit­shen­ningsen, the com­pany has al­soworked­with con­tem­po­rary tal­ents, in­clud­ing Aus­trian trio EOOS and­dan­ish tex­tile de­sign­er­na­jaut­zon Popov. In 2014, Ja­panese ar­chi­tect Tadao Ando un­veiled his sculp­tural ‘Dream’ chair, a trib­ute toweg­ner. This year, the com­pany is reis­su­ing­weg­ner’s ‘CH23’ din­ing chair, that has been out of pro­duc­tion since 1950. Along with the ‘CH22’, ‘CH24’ and ‘CH25’, it com­pletes the de­signer’s orig­i­nal quar­tet of beau­ti­fully crafted seats. It’s fit­ting that on the tenth an­niver­sary of his death, they should all be to­gether again (carl­hansen.com).

Once a small­dan­ish fur­ni­ture­work­shop, it’s now one of the­world’smost revered de­sign brands

(1–30 June; lon­don­fes­ti­val­o­far­chi­tec­ture.org) re­turns again this sum­mer, big­ger than ever. High­lights in­clude lec­tures from ar­chi­tec­ture su­per­stars David Ad­jaye and Daniel Libe­skind, and an ar­ray of ac­tiv­i­ties and events open to all in the spec­tac­u­lar Dul­wich Pav­il­ion, de­signed by emerg­ing prac­tice IF_DO. 2 Now in its sec­ond year, the non-profit Ar­chi­tec­ture Fringe, Scot­land (1–24 July; ar­chi­tec­ture­fringe.com) fea­tures a var­ied pro­gramme of spe­cial events, ex­hi­bi­tions, in­stal­la­tions and pub­lic de­bates in both Glas­gow and Ed­in­burgh. Un­der the theme ‘Oc­cu­py­ing the Post-in­dus­trial City’, six cul­tural groups will ex­plore new so­lu­tions for Glas­gow’s build­ings through ar­chi­tec­tural ex­per­i­ments. 3 The Mu­seum of­mod­ern Art New York will ex­hibit a ma­jor ret­ro­spec­tive, ‘ Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Un­pack­ing the Ar­chive’ (12 June–1 Oc­to­ber; moma.org). The ex­hi­bi­tion will fea­ture some 450 works by one of the­most pro­lific ar­chi­tects and in­tel­lects of the 20th cen­tury.

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