Poul Henningsen (PH), the social critic, review author, debate enthusiast and – most memorably – light designer, would have turned 120 on 9 September this year. To mark the occasion, his long-term partner Louis Poulsen is launching a limited edition of one of the first models in the famous PH System.
PH had an opinion about almost everything, and his propensity to argue his point often led him to being painted as both hero and villain of the piece. Most people agree, however, that with his lighting philosophy and trail-blazing light design, PH made an invaluable contribution to the creation of pleasant, convenient lighting systems. As early as the end of the 1920’s, PH had developed the formula for the distinctive lampshade profile that would become world-famous as System PH, and to which he remained true for the rest of his life. One of the first PH lights in the famous system was the PH 3-3 pendant from 1928. It was a model he created just before both he and Louis Poulsen achieved their popular breakthrough – and while his patent applications for System PH were still being processed by the authorities.
PH 3½ -3 is from 1929 and the special edition of PH 3½ -3 Louis Poulsen now launches, true to PH’s original drawings. For example, the glass sections are mounted in the original cast frame and likewise, the light housing has been reproduced down to the smallest detail, which means, for example, that the adjustment possibility of the height of the light source has been retained.
The shades on the limited edition are made of copper and glass. The two bottom shades are made of hand-blown, opal glass, while the top shade is made of untreated copper, which will take on a unique patina over time. The distinctive, rolled edge of the copper shade provides rigidity and a more robust appearance – a detail that can only be created by hand, and only by a select few craftsmen.
In fact, the pendant is packed with PH’s functional and well thought-out details, which make it both beautiful and interesting – both when illuminated and when switched off. The unique design is a unique part of design history, which has beautifully succeeded in preserving its aesthetic and functional relevance.
Louis Poulsen has previously issued limited editions of PH’s lights. All were remarkably well received, and often purchased as investments. However, as Pia Knudsen, Business Area Manager at Louis Poulsen, explains: “Lights are made to be used. We know that the re launch of the PH 3 ½-3 light is a dream come true for many PH collectors. At the same time, we are noticing a strong tendency to combine multiple periods in domestic design, with PH lights magnificently uniting classic and modern in this context.”
“As we see it, PH’s birthday is a perfect occasion to revisit the point where it all began for one of the most widely recognised light designers the world has ever seen. It has been a fascinating adventure to delve down into the treasure chest and see how a light from the end of the 1920’s can still produce absolutely beautiful light – even using modern LED light sources. Words such as ‘classic’ and ‘timeless’ take on a whole new meaning when you find yourself facing a design from the start of the last century and cannot help but admire the brilliance that went into its design and execution,” concludes Pia Knudsen.
The limited edition PH 3½–3 Copper is only available to order during the period 1 March to 31 May 2014.
PH 3½–3 Copper: Ø 330mm and H: 307mm
Energy class: A+-E.
Recommended Retail Price £995.00