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PK1 Chair

c. 1955

by Poul Kjærholm
for Carl Hansen & Søn

PK1 Chair

by Poul Kjærholm
for  Carl Hansen & Søn

or Call to Order

Poul Kjærholm had a unique ability to combine steel and organic mate­ri­als – one he demon­strated early in his career with the PK1, his first dining chair, which was presented in 1955. The PK1 chair exem­pli­fies Kjærholm’s uncom­pro­mis­ing approach, his ability to create harmony between form and mate­ri­als, and his contin­ued search for authen­tic­ity in his chosen mate­ri­als as well as for flawless execution.

The PK1 is a complex chair with a straight­for­ward, clean look that requires highly skilled crafts­man­ship. It consists of a steel frame and a woven seat made of flag halyard for optimum comfort. The combi­na­tion of the two mate­ri­als creates visual light­ness, making the chair suit­able for both classic and modern interiors.

The dining chair, which is new to the Carl Hansen & Søn collec­tion of classic designer furni­ture, is made of either stain­less, chrome-plated or black powder-coated steel paired with either natural or black flag halyard. As a new addi­tion, Carl Hansen & Søn is also offer­ing an outdoor version of the PK1 with a stain­less steel frame and light brown or black weather-resis­tant flag halyard. Both the indoor and outdoor vari­ants can be stacked up to five chairs.


Credit: Carl Hansen & Søn

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Poul Kjærholm

Denmark (1929–1980)

The work of Poul Kjærholm was at once deeply rooted in the Danish furniture tradition and inspired by artistic movements all over Europe. The German Bauhaus School, furniture designers Gerrit Rietveld, Mies van der Rohe, and Charles Eames, as well as Danish furniture designer Kaare Klint and his contemporaries, all contributed to shaping Kjærholm as a furniture designer.

Kjærholm made a name for himself primarily with his functionalist steel, leather, and glass furniture, although he originally trained as a cabinetmaker in hjørring, Denmark in 1949. he then went on to study furniture design at the Danish School of Arts and Crafts (now the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design) in Copenhagen, graduating in 1952 and returning again to teach shortly after. In 1955, he became a lecturer at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and was appointed a professor in 1976, succeeding Ole Wanscher. Kjærholm remained at the Academy until his death in 1980.

Throughout his work – as both an educator and a furniture designer – Kjærholm made function and clarity his hallmarks. Whatever material he worked with, Kjærholm, in his own quiet way, allowed the furniture to speak its own simple language. An idealist in his field, he refrained from easy solutions and never allowed himself to be guided by changing fads.

Driven by the dual desire to realize each material’s inherent nature and to create harmony between material and form, Kjærholm often felt that there was only one solution to a given problem. He was a demanding teacher guided by perfectionism and discipline, his idealistic approach to design also manifesting itself among his students.

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