Wegner’s archetype for the ideal armchair.
Home furnishing in 2013 demands pieces that create personal space and embrace the body. Over 50 years ago, Wegner created two iconic armchairs – the Wing Chair and the Oculus Chair – that today continue to fulfil our continually evolving needs. The designs sum up Wegner’s knowledge of ergonomics combined with his sculptural and minimalist expression.
Hans J. Wegner’s two armchair archetypes – Wing Chair and Oculus.
This year’s furniture exhibitions have highlighted a growing interest in exploring individual space within living rooms. The popular theme has inspired a number of designers to experiment with merging exceptional comfort and space for peace and contemplation – and the resulting chairs and sofas emphasise large proportions and lounge-inspired elements.
Long popular in corporate environments, these features have only recently gained ground in home furnishings. The shift is particularly relevant for one of the home’s cosiest nooks – the armchair, which is seeing a strong trend towards oversized, dominant backrests that embrace the body and foster an informal atmosphere. These keep the world at bay, creating privacy without isolating the occupants from their surroundings, and providing an oasis for quiet moments.
Hans J. Wegner began working on creating personal space within room settings back in the early 1960s. It was then that he created his two iconic armchairs: the Wing Chair and the Oculus Chair. Today, infused with Wegner’s trademark sense for seating comfort, freedom of movement, simple minimalist design, and sculptural expression, both chairs continue to represent the archetype of the ideal armchair.
“For Wegner, a chair was not just a chair, but a work of art to relieve the body. Both the Wing Chair and the Oculus Chair sum up the essence of his design philosophy: combining design and ergonomics with form and function in a balance that creates perfect harmony. His design is timeless, as demonstrated by the fact that his two armchairs, created over 50 years ago, continue to be popular in home furnishings in 2013. It is no accident that Wegner is frequently referred to as the ‘chair-maker of chair-makers’ – both in Denmark and abroad,” says Knud Erik Hansen, CEO of Carl Hansen & Son.
Wing Chair The Wing Chair was designed in 1960 and briefly put into production. Carl Hansen & Son rediscovered the design in 2006 and, using Wegner’s original drawings, put it back into production. The Wing Chair is an upholstered armchair with a solid beech frame supported by light, perfectly contrasting aluminium legs. The chair is renowned for its stylistic expression, with its characteristic armrests and the backrest’s horizontal crease, which balances the wing-like protruding corners.
The Oculus Chair was also designed in 1960. Wegner made two prototypes of the chair (one leather and one fabric), but its production only began 50 years later when Carl Hansen & Son discovered one of the prototypes in the Wegner family home. Like the Wing Chair, Oculus has a solid beech frame and thin aluminium legs – a contrast that accentuates its strong character. The chair is spacious, with a broad rounded backrest and pronounced armrests. Wegner drew inspiration for the design from nature, combining organic shapes with simple, soft lines and a strong, eye-catching presence.
Every item of furniture produced by Carl Hansen & Son reflects over 100 years of furniture history with respect and passion for craftsmanship. Carl Hansen & Son is the world’s largest manufacturer of furniture designed by Hans J. Wegner, and our portfolio also includes designs by Mogens Koch, Kaare Klint, Ole Wanscher and others.
Carl Hansen & Son has 170 employees and production in Denmark. The furniture is sold all over the world. Find out more at www.carlhansen.com