Carl Hansen & Son has recreated one of Hans J. Wegner’s early designs: the 1950 CH22 lounge chair, which bears the first actual model number from the first joint collection between the innovative designer and the Danish furniture manufacturer. Wegner’s debut collection featured iconic chairs that ha... More
Carl Hansen & Son has recreated one of Hans J. Wegner’s early designs: the 1950 CH22 lounge chair, which bears the first actual model number from the first joint collection between the innovative designer and the Danish furniture manufacturer. Wegner’s debut collection featured iconic chairs that have achieved classic status the world over. It also inspired Wegner’s previously unknown CH26 chair design, which until today has never been produced.
Hans J. Wegner is undoubtedly one of the most original and influential furniture designers Denmark has ever produced, and Carl Hansen & Son’s reintroduction of the CH22 lounge chair – one of Wegner’s early designs – emphasizes his talent for designing and constructing wooden furniture.
The CH22 was the first model in Wegner’s debut collection created exclusively for Carl Hansen & Son in 1950 – a series that also included such iconic designs as the CH24, better known as the Wishbone Chair, and the elegant CH25 lounge chair. The designs clearly illustrate Wegner’s ability, even early on in his career, to simplify a construction until it is distilled down to its essence and is full of character.
In designing the CH22, Wegner also created a blueprint for transforming the lounge chair into a dining chair – a design that has never been manufactured and was evidently not even produced as a mockup. This previously unknown design, with the model number CH26, bears a striking resemblance to the CH22, sharing many of the design elements so characteristic of Wegner: organic shapes, bold backs, light-colored wood and woven seats.
Knud Erik Hansen, CEO of Carl Hansen & Son, says: “The story of Wegner and Carl Hansen & Son’s collaboration dates back to 1949, when Wegner and my father, Holger Hansen, formed a partnership to manufacture a series of chairs. Both had trained as cabinetmakers, and where Wegner focused on design, my father was the businessman who focused on sales, and particularly on global exports.”
Knud Erik Hansen, who represents the third generation of the family-owned business, continues: “In order to be close to the manufacturing process, Wegner stayed with my family for three weeks while his first collection for Carl Hansen & Son was produced according to his drawings. This series of sophisticated chair designs is a supreme example of Danish craftsmanship from the hands of a brilliant cabinetmaker who understood the potential of wood and consistently made a virtue out of making the complicated simple, while imbuing his designs with quality and comfort.”
Wegner’s CH22 lounge chair Wegner designed the CH22 lounge chair in 1950 and presented it in August of the same year at the ‘Købestævnet’ exhibition in Denmark. Manufactured to Wegner’s exacting original specifications, the CH22 is a low armchair with a solid wood construction featuring Wegner’s characteristically shaped armrests and a paper cord seat in what is known as an envelope weave.
The chair’s refined joinery is evident in the finger-joined corners of the seat frame, with the forelegs locking into wooden wedges in a color contrasting that of the frame. The distinctive back shell in form-pressed veneer features oblong cover caps as a striking detail.
The CH22’s complex, intricately detailed construction may explain why the lounge chair has long been out of production. Today, while parts of the production process have been modernized, the chair is still manufactured as it was more than six decades ago – that is, with excellent hand craftsmanship, from assembly through the surface treatment and seat weaving.
Wegner’s CH26 chair Although the CH26 design also dates back to 1950, the chair had never before been produced, and no mockups existed. The CH26’s striking similarity to the CH22 is evident in the armrests and the characteristic, sweeping form of the armrest supports. Because Wegner intended for the CH26 to serve as a dining or desk chair, he gave serious consideration to the chair’s proportions and its height in relation to tables, adjusting the CH26’s frame and seat structure to enhance strength and stability.
The CH26 design has now finally come to life, manufactured in exact accordance with Wegner’s original, hand-drawn sketches, the only exception being two extra centimeters that have been added to the chair’s height to accommodate today’s higher tables and people.
Common to both the CH22 and CH26 are excellent ergonomics, a robust construction, and characteristically shaped elements, which result in a distinctive appearance that expresses the extent to which every detail has been thought through.
The CH22 and CH26 are available in solid oak and walnut as well as a combination of these wood types, with various finishes. The seat is available in natural or black paper cord. The CH22’s dimensions are 36.8 cm (seat height), 72.6 cm (height), 61.5 cm (depth), and 69.5 cm (width). The CH26’s dimensions are 44.5 cm (seat height), 79.8 cm (height), 51.9 cm (depth), and 59.2 cm (width). Both chairs will be in stores from May 2016.