Better Know a Furniture Maker...Fritz Hansen February 19 2016, 0 Comments
More than 135 years since its founding, Danish furniture maker Fritz Hansen continues to embody the pinnacle of quality and world-class design.
Born into a family of cabinetmakers, Fritz Hansen moved to Copenhagen at the age of 25 and began making furniture.
In 1899 Fritz Hansen’s son, Christian Edvard Hansen, took majority control over the continuously growing company, gradually transforming the business from simply producing cabinets to an industrialized furniture manufacturer.
The functionalist movement introduced a new opportunity for using novel materials and technology in furniture making. Using these new materials and technologies, Fritz Hansen experimented with new aesthetics, manufacturing the first steam bentwood chair in Denmark in 1915.
Despite the difficulties of WWII, Fritz Hansen's factory was expanded in the 1940s and operations continued to thrive with key strategic decisions, like purchasing a large supply of Walnut from trees that were downed during icy winters to create new collections that were well received by customers and the press.
With successful partnerships with Hans J. Wegner (The China Chair 1944), and Børge Mogensen (The Spokeback Sofa 1945), the Republic of Fritz Hansen continued to build a reputation for beautifully simple, timeless furniture. Wegner's China Chair became known as a "sculptural celebration of wood, and finest craft of furniture making."
But it was through a partnership with Danish architect Arne Jacobsen, beginning in 1934 and expanding rapidly through the 1950s, that the Republic of Fritz Hansen would become indelibly inscribed in the book of great design legends.
Together they began with the Ant stacking chair. From there, the strong partnership blossomed into a series of pressure molded veneer chairs, including the iconic Series 7, the Oxford, the Grand Prix, and the Lily.
In 1958, Arne Jacobsen designed the Egg, Swan, and Drop Chairs for the Royal Hotel in Copenhagen, using his skill as an architect and total design philosophy to juxtapose furniture with nothing but curves against the angles of the rectilinear building.
Jacobsen's Egg and Swan chairs endure as Danish Design masterpieces representing the highest level of comfort, craftsmanship, and style.
In 2015, Fritz Hansen celebrated its 60th anniversary of the Series 7 Chair. The best selling chair in design history, having sold over seven million, was celebrated first with the Limited Editions: Pale Pink with 24k gold leaf legs, and Dark Blue with burnished bronze legs.
Then, Fritz Hansen added nine new color options created by Danish artist Tal R: Chevalier Orange, Egyptian Yellow, Alstadt Rose, Ai Blue, Chocolate Milk, Evren Purple, Opium Red, Trieste Blue, Huzun Green, and a combination of all 9 colors, Nine Grey.
Looking across the spectrum of Tal R Colors, you can see that each complex new color falls between two other colors, creating a story in each new design.
A monochrome look is also now offered in 4 colors with colored bases that add the illusion of a single beautiful structure, as opposed to a separate base and shell.
Monochrome Series 7s are offered in White, Chevalier Orange, Trieste Blue, and Black.
With world class designer Jaime Hayon, Fritz Hansen has continued to elevate and broaden it's portfolio.
Hayon has created exquisite new designs perfectly suited to Fritz Hansen's Nordic Aesthetics with the Ro Chair, Favn Sofa, Analog table, and most recently, the Fri lounge chair and Sammen dining chair.
Each new design brings a sense of coziness to a room. The living room chair, Fri, with all of the comfort of the Ro chair, encourages openness and interaction with your environment, while Ro allows for quiet reflection. Sammen, meaning being together and having fun in Danish, reflects its name with a beautiful, simplistic design, yet maximum comfort, giving you a living room feel in the dining room.
In 2017, Fritz Hansen launched Lune, Jaime Hayon's beautiful modular sofa, with lines that perfectly complement Ro and Fri.
In 2018 at Salone di Mobile, Fritz Hansen collaborated with the highly esteemed Japanese Design Studio Nendo by Oti Sako to launch an elegant all-wood dining chair, the N01.
Contact us, or join us in our showroom to view the full range of Fritz Hansen's fabric, leather, wood, glass, and metal finish options and customize an enduring classic of your own.
All images and content are from Republic of Fritz Hansen, for whom we are an authorized dealer.
Blog post authored by Mallory Frysinger, edited by Ivy Simon.