Finn Juhl’s 46 sofa

By recommendation of my friend we visited the Design Museum Danmark in search of some fantastic design from the 20th Century and were not disappointed. Having arrived at a time when an exhibition celebrating 100 years since the birth of designer Finn Juhl we certainly were treated to some local history that we had hoped for.

Finn Juhl was a highly respected architect and interior designer but famous for his furniture designs. During the Nazi occupation and post-War 1940s he designed a number of creations that regenerated Danish furniture design, and broke with the established furniture tradition.

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His great invention was the floating seating surface, usually upholstered, in contrast to the hard wood of the design´s bearing elements. His masterpieces ‘Pelican chair‘ and ‘Chieftain chair’ are illustrative examples. At the Milan Triennale in the 1950s, he was awarded no fewer than five gold medals and won international acclaim for his furniture.

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My favourite piece by Juhl is his 46 Sofa, named so because it was designed in 1946. Let me just repeat this for a moment… this sofa was designed in 1946, just one year after the Nazi occupation of Denmark ended and the country was starting to think about the future for itself.

It was first designed for a smaller upholstery company named Carl Brørup. At that time Finn Juhl was very much inspired by modern art especially by Picasso and Henry Moore, and this is reflected in his designs of that time, especially in the 46 sofa.

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In the 1950s, Finn Juhl opened the doors to a Danish furniture export adventure, in particular, to the USA and is therefore rightfully called the father of the concept of Danish design. Finn Juhl licensed manufacturer Onecollection are following in his footsteps today with the renovation of the Finn Juhl chamber in the UN’s headquarters in New York. Finn Juhl is clearing the way for new Danish architects and it is their ambition to market – together with Finn Juhl – the best and cosiest Nordic design in the whole world. I’d say the very best of luck to them.

Designer: Finn Juhl
Manufacturer: onecollection
Year: 1946
Price: £5,967.00 from nest.co.uk

Daniel

Having worked in design for the past decade, Daniel started ateliertally.com as a discussion of timeless, modernist product design. Trained as a graphic designer, he also has an avid interest in typography. You can follow him on Twitter @ateliertally.

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