Design decoded A look at the craftsmanship behind the ‘CH825’ by Hans J Wegner for Carl Hansen & Søn
The pinnacle of thoughtful craftsmanship, this mid-century storage piece by the superstar of Danish design is also a modern hit
Prolific Danish designer Hans J Wegner (1940–2007) is renowned for creating some of the mid-century’s most recognisable chairs, including the legendary ‘ Wishbone’, but his ‘CH825’ credenza, created for Carl Hansen & Søn in 1958, is just as worthy of note. This classic storage unit, one of three Wegner created, was relaunched in 2014 to mark what would have been his 100th birthday. Originally made in palisander and teak, it’s now available in walnut and oak.
Designed from Wegner’s original sketches, each ‘CH825’ is made in Gelsted on the island of Funen, at the Carl Hansen & Søn headquarters, taking a skilled cabinetmaker around 25 hours to construct using handpicked slices of timber from the same tree. The trickiness lies in how the veneer is cut, joined and then affixed around the sides to create a seamless pattern that conceals the end grain.
Despite its seemingly simple appearance, as one would expect from a design by this master of detail and craftsmanship, Wegner’s ‘CH825’ is pleasingly functional. Its rolling shutter doors, which draw out to the side, run on tracks inside the unit and then disappear within the hidden double sides and rear panel. All of its internal mechanics are disguised.
Inside, there are adjustable shelves with finger joints, and pull-out drawers which can be configured as desired. In this updated version (from £5,461), which has had two centimetres removed from the front and back to ensure it can rest completely flush against a wall, there is the option to mount it on either steel loops or wooden legs. carlhansen.com
DESIGNED FROM WEGNER’S ORIGINAL SKETCHES, EACH ‘CH825’ TAKES A SKILLED CABINETMAKER 25 HOURS TO CONSTRUCT