Finn Juhl - Danish Modernist Master
Danish architect Finn Juhl (1912–1989) is regarded as one of the greatest furniture designers of the 20th century. He was a pioneering figure within the mid-century Danish interior design and the Danish Modern movement. Overseas exposure and fame resulted early in Juhl's career, when he was commissioned to furnish one of the larger delegate rooms at the UN building in New York, and exhibited at the city's Museum of Modern Art while still in his thirties. His collaboration with the American furniture industry helped to act as a catalyst for the rapid expansion of Danish interior design as an international force, and left a legacy that remains an inspiration to many designers to this day.
Høvdingestolen: One of his most famous designs, Finn Juhl designed this chair for the Cabinetmakers’ Guild exhibition in 1949. A distinctive trait of many of Juhl’s chairs are that the seat, armrests and back are separated from the supporting frame. The chair is inspired by the forms of indigenous people’s weapons and tools. Today Høvdingestolen is considered one of Finn Juhl’s masterpieces.
Finn Juhl’s own house is a textbook example of his inspirations and legacy as an architect and furniture designer. He built the house on Kratvænget 15 in Ordrup, in the northern suburbs of Copenhagen, in 1942, adjacent to Ordrupgaard Park. The home is now a permanent part of Ordrupgaard museum. and was opened to the public in April 2008.
The house represents Finn Juhl’s interdisciplinary thinking, and his broad range of talents, right down to the smallest detail. For Juhl, being an architect did not mean putting the building first, as much as attaining an interplay between the interior design and the materials and colours. The interior design in the house, furniture and materials also set the scene for Finn Juhl’s personal collection of modernist arts and crafts, which along with the architecture, lights and colours create a unique experience.