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Fritz Hansen

furnishing manufacturer (1872)

Fritz Hansen is a Danish furniture and lamp company founded in Copenhagen in 1872 by the enterprising cabinetmaker Fritz Hansen from Nakskov.

The company has a long history of collaborations with important international designers to give life to their visionary concepts and spaces that help transform.

1885 is a decisive year, with the opening of its own furniture production company and two years later with a laboratory in Christianshavn, a central area of ​​Copenhagen. Fritz Hansen and his son Christian have raised the level of quality of furniture production which has since been the "trademark" of the products made by Fritz Hansen.

The long list of prestigious orders from the company's first fifty years of history shows how strong Fritz Hansen's reputation is already at the beginning of the 20th century. The buildings furnished by Fritz Hansen include Christiansborg, the University Library, the Copenhagen City Hall, the Supreme Court and other important projects.

At the beginning of the century, the forward-looking Christian E. Hansen, son of Fritz Hansen, began experimenting with beech wood with steam bending. In the 1930s, the technique was so refined that Fritz Hansen was among the world leaders in the sector, which later evolved into the company's specialty: furniture made of laminated wood.

As an adapted variant of Germanic functionalism, the purest lines and the lightest and most practical approach have become the revolutionary style in Scandinavia.
Fritz Hansen produces the first Danish steel furniture and the famous Church chair by Kaare Klint, which remains in the Fritz Hansen collection from 1936 to 2004.

Despite the difficulties of the decade of the Second World War, the Fritz Hansen factory is expanded. A large quantity of wood is purchased and a new series of walnut furniture is presented.

The first classic product of the decade is the 1944 China Chair ™, designed by architect Hans. J. Wegner. The chair is a sculptural celebration of wood, an expression of the best furniture craftsmanship. The second classic is the beamed sofa by Børge Mogensen from 1945.

The 50s of Fritz Hansen are dominated by the figure of Arne Jacobsen who has been collaborating with the Danish company since 1934. The turning point is represented by the design of the Ant ™ chair produced in laminate. The chair later was at the origin of the success of the Series 7 ™ chair and other pressure-veneered chairs.

The inspiration for the Ant chair comes from the AX series by Hvidt & Mølggard and introduces the lamination technique, still today a milestone in the history of Fritz Hansen.

In 1963, the Allerød plant was expanded with three warehouses and in 1965 the administrative department moved from Christianshavn to the renovated buildings in Allerød, which also included a showroom.

The endless table, the Super-Elliptic ™ table and the spanleg table are designed by Bruno Mathsson and Piet Hein and become one of Fritz Hansen's greatest hits. Equally effective is the reintroduction of Børge Mogensen's "Tremmesofa" and Hans Wegner's China Chair ™. Arne Jacobsen models also strongly dominate this period.

The 1970s marked the transfer of ownership of the company, marked by major changes in Fritz Hansen: on the first working day of 1979, Fritz Hansen announced that the 107-year-old company was no longer in the hands of his family. 75% of Fritz Hansen's shares are now owned by Skandinavisk Holding.

The terrible enfant of Danish design, Verner Panton, becomes the leader of the avant-gardes, provoking and inspiring in the service of Fritz Hansen. His leading role translates into flattering comments from the press. The attempt to restore interest in Arne Jacobsen and the other classics began and materialized a few years later.

Arne Jacobsen shines even more with the creation of the classic style icons Egg ™ and Swan ™ designed for the Royal Hotel in Copenhagen. The introduction of its 3300 ™ series adds to the myth. Verner Panton also appears on the scene with the graduation chairs. But the decade belongs to Arne Jacobsen.

Fritz Hansen's outstanding classic collection includes a series of iconic furniture from renowned Danish architects and designers, including Arne Jacobsen's Egg ™, Swan ™ and Series 7 ™ chairs and Poul Kjærholm's PK22 ™ chair and PK80 ™ sofa .

The contemporary collection features new furniture and accessory designs from some of the most inspiring and internationally recognized modern designers, including Jaime Hayon, Piero Lissoni, Kasper Salto and Cecilie Manz.

Common to the two collections is a sculptural artistic expression that blurs the lines between design and art and combines function and form in unprecedented ways, giving each work a meaningful presence and purpose.

Links of interest:
History in the making | Fritz Hansen