On the international design scene, the duo Ejner Larsen and Aksel Bender Madsen are far less known than designers like Hans J. Wegner. But upon closer inspection of their major work – the Metropolitan Chair – one begins to understand their intuitive sense for world-class design and craftsmanship.
Carl Hansen & Son is relaunching the Metropolitan Chair, which Ejner Larsen and Aksel Bender Madsen first presented at the Copenhagen Cabinetmakers’ Guild Furniture Exhibition in 1949, a few years after joining forces. The Metropolitan Chair is now available with solid oak or walnut legs and a saddle leather seat and backrest in natural, cognac or black.
Knud Erik Hansen, CEO of Carl Hansen & Son, says: “The Metropolitan Chair is a valuable Danish furniture classic that will undoubtedly do well with a diverse, international audience. Along with the rest of our range, the chair tells the story of Danish design at its best. The addition of the Metropolitan Chair to our portfolio brings us significantly closer to our vision of gathering the greatest furniture icons, with emphasis on high quality and traditions of craftsmanship, under one roof.”
Larsen and Bender Madsen, who trained as furniture upholsterer and cabinetmaker, respectively, met while studying under leading Danish designer Kaare Klint at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. Together they designed approximately 300 works, of which the Metropolitan Chair is considered their most significant.
Originally intended as a conference chair, the Metropolitan Chair went into production in 1950. The design is the result of many intense hours where Larsen and Bender Madsen designed and developed late into the night. The tensioned veneer back was inspired by a lamination technique course Bender Madsen had taken earlier.
After a 1961 Danish export campaign, the Metropolitan Museum in New York purchased the chair for its exhibition, The Arts of Denmark. The chair was consequently named the Metropolitan Chair – probably one of the greatest honours a chair can earn. Chase Manhattan Bank also expressed an interest in purchasing 450 of the chairs for their new head office.
The chair was previously made primarily of teak, oak, and occasionally cherry wood. A decade after the original version was unveiled; it was supplemented with a saddle leather seat and backrest. The chair is distinguished by its impressive saddle leather upholstery and excellent seating comfort.
The Metropolitan Chair (product code LM92) is available in oak and walnut with various surface treatments and saddle leather upholstery in natural, cognac or black. The chair’s dimensions are 42.5 cm (seat height), 79.5 cm (height), 56 cm (depth) and 77.5 cm (width). The Metropolitan Chair will be in stores from September 2014, with recommended retail prices starting at £1,972 (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, CarlHansen & 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