PP40 Paper Basket
for PP Møbler
The PP Mobler pp40 Paper Basket is a timeless design by Hans J. Wegner, crafted for the Aarhus Townhall Project. Wegner’s ingenuity was enlisted by Arne Jacobsen to design the interiors for the prestigious Aarhus Townhall project, resulting in a series of remarkable creations, including the Paper Basket.
The design of the pp40 Paper Basket is rooted in simplicity and functionality. A solid base seamlessly connected to the top ring by fourteen vertical slats, all meticulously crafted from solid wood. This straightforward yet elegant design reflects Wegner’s commitment to creating practical and aesthetically pleasing pieces.
Notably, the top ring of the Paper Basket holds a fascinating historical connection. The original drawing showcases a laminated circular construction, a principle that Wegner would revisit more than four decades later in producing the iconic Circle Chair. This early exploration of laminated construction exemplifies Wegner’s foresight and the interconnectedness of his designs over time.
PP Main Catalog
Hans J. Wegner
If Danish modernism is best known and beloved for the use of traditional techniques to emphasize materiality—graceful curves honoring the grain of fine walnut, for example—that’s thanks in large part to Hans J. Wegner. Born in southern Denmark, at 14 Wegner began an apprenticeship with Danish master cabinetmaker H. F. Stahlberg, where he honed a preternatural talent and learned skills he’d bring to bear throughout a career lasting some eighty years and full of design masterpieces.
While studying at the School of Arts and Crafts in Copenhagen, Wegner worked for Arne Jacobsen and Erik Møller on a range of furniture for the Aarhus City Hall. Four years after graduation, he had showcased a chair at the Copenhagen Museum of Art and Industry, and opened his own firm. Sculptural, surprisingly comfortable seating became Wegner’s trademark: for Fritz Hansen, the floating Chinese chairs; for Carl Hansen & Sons, he designed the instant classic Wishbone, Shell, and Elbow chairs; for PP Møbler, the cozy Papa Bear, iconic Round, and buoyant Circle chairs; and countless others, most still in production.
Wegner retired in 1993 and died fourteen years later, but his work lives on in its ubiquity across residential, hospitality, and corporate design—not to mention the Museum Sønderjylland’s permanent exhibition of the three dozen chairs he felt were his very best in a water tour in his hometown of Tønder.
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by John Pawson