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Carl Hansen & Søn Adds Three Classic Chair Designs to Portfolio

Carl Hansen & Søn, the celebrated Danish furniture manufacturer, is introducing three classic chair designs to its considerable portfolio: Ole Wanscher’s 1951 OW124 Beak Chair; Hans J. Wegner’s 1950 CH23 dining chair and Poul Kjærholm’s 1955 PK1 dining chair.

OW124 Beak Chair

Ole Wanscher (1903-1985) was a Danish architect and a professor of architecture, specialising in furniture design. Wanscher is recognised as having a significant influence in shaping the evolution of Danish furniture, in his capacity as both a designer and a teacher. Wanscher approached furniture design as though it was a branch of architecture, emphasising its construction, resilience and form.

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Ole Wanscher.

Carl Hansen & Søn is introducing Ole Wanscher’s 1951 OW124 Beak Chair to its collection. Characteristic of Wanscher’s designs, the Beak Chair is slender and elegant, and takes its ‘nickname’ from the beak-like, curved armrests. Knud Erik Hansen, Carl Hansen & Søn CEO, explains that ‘the chair epitomizes Wanscher’s desire and ability to explore materials and shapes.’ A truly arresting seat, the OW124 unites both classic design with exceptional modern-day appeal.

The OW124 Beak Chairs in oil-treated oak and leather upholstery. The chairs are pictured with Ole Wanscher’s OW449 coffee table in oil-treated oak.
OW124 Beak Chair in black-painted oak and leather upholstery.
A close-up of the OW124 Beak Chair in oil-treated oak.

CH23 Dining Chair

Hans J. Wegner (1914-2007) is—in this writer’s opinion—Denmark’s greatest chair maestro, designing more than 500 chairs during his lifetime. Wegner’s genius was the manner in which he made a complex, intricate chair, appear entirely simple in its presentation. His emphasis on function and aesthetic appeal, produced a plethora of distinctive and sculptural chair designs. Both mid-century and contemporary, Wegner’s chairs maintain their rightful place in annals of chair design.

Hans J. Wegner.

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Carl Hansen & Søn is reintroducing Wegner’s CH23 dining chair, further adding to its already extensive collection of Wegner’s designs. Out of production for five decades, the chair was introduced by Carl Hansen & Søn in 1950; it was one of the first pieces designed exclusively by Wegner for the Danish furniture manufacturer. Typical of Wegner, the CH23 appears simple and clean, yet it is characterised by many finer details: from the double-woven seat to the arched rear legs, designed to ensure optimum stability. In addition to its handsome form, the CH23 combines function with quality, its configuration augmented by Wegner’s profound understanding of ergonomics: ‘You can remain comfortably seated [on the CH23] for hours without getting tired,’ observes Knud Erik Hansen.

(Anticlockwise from front-centre) CH23 dining chairs in oil-treated walnut, oil-treated oak, soap-treated oak and oil-treated oak and walnut. The chairs are pictured with Hans J. Wegner’s CH327 dining table in oil-treated oak.
CH23 in oil-treated oak. Pictured with the CH327 dining table in oil-treated oak.
CH23 in oil-treated walnut and oil-treated oak and walnut.
CH23 close-up
A close-up of the CH23 in oil-treated oak.

PK1 Dining Chair

Poul Kjærholm (1929-1980) was a Danish master craftsman, mastermind and innovator. Supervised and mentored by Hans J. Wegner while at the Furniture School in Copenhagen’s School of Arts and Crafts, Kjærholm would grow to become a veritable ‘furniture architect’. Demanding a lot from his furniture and pushing materials to reach their maximum potential, Kjærholm believed in an aesthetic clarity, achieving designs that were simple and pure. Despite appearing straightforward, Kjærholm’s designs are a study in craft, clarity and detail.

Carl Hansen & Søn is introducing Poul Kjærholm’s first dining chair: the 1955 PK1. ‘We are proud to have the opportunity to manufacture Kjærholm’s first dining chair—a very elegant design from the master’s hand,” says Knud Erik Hansen. Restrained, unflashy and without frills, the PK1 mixes the rigidity of steel with the organic quality of flag halyard. The result is a dining chair whose wow factor lies in its perfect poise and mannerly reserve.

Poul Kjærholm.
PK1 in chrome and black weather resistant flag halyard.
(Left) PK1 in black steel and natural flag halyard; (Centre and right) PK1 in black steel and black flag halyard.
PK1 in stainless steel with natural flag halyard. The chairs are pictured with Poul Kjaerholm’s PK52 ‘Professor Desk’ in grey laminate.
Side detail of the PK1 in stainless steel with natural flag halyard.

All photos courtesy of Carl Hansen & Søn.

Chair details via Friends & Co.

Gerard McGuickin
Gerard is a writer, a thinker and a modern-day gentleman living in a modish neighbourhood in south Belfast. Walnut Grey Design is his popular manifesto of good design. From Gerard’s discerning perspective, design should be aesthetic, smart, honest and gratifying. Moreover, it must be for keeps. A self-confessed urbanite, Gerard is enthralled b[...]

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