Wegner’s thoughtful play with wood and steel.
To mark the 100th anniversary of Hans J. Wegner’s birth, Carl Hansen & Son is launching Wegner’s CH88 chair – a 1955 design that has, to date, existed only as a prototype. One of Wegner’s few designs combining wood and steel, the CH88 is a versatile chair updated for today’s needs.
Although primarily known and renowned for his work with wood, Hans J. Wegner was always interested in exploring and working with other materials. This is evident in the CH88, originally a prototype for a chair featuring elements of steel. To mark the 100th anniversary of Wegner’s birthday, Carl Hansen & Son is producing the CH88 for the first time.
A CH88 prototype was unveiled in 1955 at the international H55 Exhibition in Helsingborg, organized by the Swedish Design Association, Föreningen Svensk Form. Here, Wegner exhibited his furniture alongside other designers, including Alvar Aalto.
“The CH88 epitomizes Wegner’s characteristic play with materials – a surprising blend of wood and steel. Wegner was an unsurpassed master when it came to exploring the applications and compatibility of different materials. It is precisely the fusion of organic wood and industrial steel that produces a versatile chair suited to a range of different styles and settings,” says Knud Erik Hansen, CEO of Carl Hansen & Son.
He continues: “We continually strive to recreate Wegner’s design in accordance with his original drawings, but it goes without saying that a chair designed almost 60 years ago must be updated to fulfill modern needs. The height of the seat, armrests and backrest have all been raised slightly for the simple reason that people are taller now. The shape of the seat has also been modified slightly so that the chair can be stacked. All in all, the CH88 is a chair that beautifully illustrates Wegner’s commitment to understanding the potential of materials and his search for perfection in minimalist design.”
As with all his chairs, Wegner was intent on creating the ideal distance between the seat and backrest with the aim of achieving optimal back support. In Wegner’s eyes, comfort was an inherent feature of any good chair.
The CH88 is versatile both in terms of its appearance and usability thanks to its numerous finish, frame, and room placement options. Characteristically, the upper structure features a steam-bent wooden backrest for back support, with slight curvatures of the backrest’s ends providing a natural resting place for the arms. The steel frame, with straight back legs, supports an oval-shaped wooden seat. This blend of materials, combined with a minimalist design, results in a light, organic, industrial expression. And the new, stackable design offers a valuable benefit. The CH88’s overall flexibility, coupled with its many variants, makes the chair equally well-suited to multiple environments – from the living room to the hotel restaurant or corporate canteen.
The CH88 is available in beech and oak in a range of finishes. The frame is available in stainless steel, black powder coating and chrome, and the seat with optional leather or textile upholstery. The chair’s dimensions are 44.5 cm (seat height), 76.5 cm (height), 44.5 cm (depth) and 57 cm (width). Up to four CH88 chairs can be stacked.
The CH88 will be in shops from May 2014. Recommended prices from £258 excl. VAT.
ABOUT CARL HANSEN & SON Every item of furniture produced by Carl Hansen & Son reflects over 100 years of furniture history with respect and passion for craftsmanship. The world’s largest manufacturer of furniture designed by Hans J. Wegner, Carl Hansen & Son also produces designs by Mogens Koch, Kaare Klint, Ole Wanscher and others. The company has 170 employees. All Carl Hansen & Son furniture is produced in Denmark and sold all over the world. Find out more at www.carlhansen.com.