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Spotlight on Finn Juhl and Danish Design

Finn Juhl is regarded as the father of "Danish Design" and became world famous after he designed the Trusteeship Council in the UN building.

Finn Juhl

Finn juhl’s trusteeship council chamber

Housed in the UN Headquarters in New York (constructed in 1947-52 and designed by Oscar Niemeyer), the Trusteeship Council Chamber, with interior design by Finn Juhl, is one of the most frequently used meeting facilities in the UN compound and is visited by 400,000 tourists annually. Appointed with warm-hued wood and original furniture designs by Finn Juhl (including the FJ51 chair), the chamber reflects a classic 1950s design ethos with emphasis on craftsmanship and organic form.

Originally created as a total interior design in 1950-52, the chamber saw a series of alterations in 1964 and 1977. The current restoration of the chamber according to original plans (and with new furniture fittings by a yet-to-be-decided Danish designer) will be overseen by the Heritage Agency of Denmark.

The restoration is co-funded by the United Nations, the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Danish Ministry of Cultural Affairs and the Realdania Foundation. The total Danish contribution to the restoration amounts to $3 million.

Completion of the project is expected at the end of 2012.

Finn uhl’s furniture design and the golden age of Danish modern

Open any international design magazine and you are bound to find examples of furniture designs (especially chairs) by masters of Danish Modern (1940s-60s), such as Hans J. WegnerArne Jacobsen and Kaare Klint.

Finn Juhl's furniture A proponent of international modernism, Finn Juhl (1912-89) also brought a playful element to his furniture designs (drawing on African art and Surrealism), which today gives them a contemporary appeal. His ‘Baker’ sofa was hailed as the 2009 “Revival of the Year” in Wallpaper* Magazine. Many of Finn Juhl’s designs are still available from showrooms around the world, several of which were relaunched at the CODE10 design fair in 2010. For further information on Finn Juhl’s furniture design, visit www.onecollection.com 


Design tourism in Denmark & industry eventsFinn Juhl house

A nation celebrated for its modern design heritage, Denmark has much to offer visitors. The own-design home of Finn Juhl adjacent to the Ordrupgaard Museum is open to the public. The home features his original furniture designs. A copy of the home is planned for completion in Japan.

Denmark’s largest collection of Danish Modern furniture designs (1940s-60s) is permanently showcased at the Trapholt Museum of Art and Design close to the town of Kolding.

The 2012 Finn Juhl Centennial/ the Finn Juhl institute

The centennial of the birth of Finn Juhl (1912-89) will be celebrated with a number of events in Denmark and internationally. The most high-profile event is expected to be the launch of the Finn Juhl Institute, an initiative sponsored by OneCollection that seeks to bring together leading institutions, trustees and scholars with the aim of promoting a wider awareness of Finn Juhl and Danish design. As part of the project, an open, collaborative website will be created for devotees of Finn Juhl’s designs.

Showroom events are expected to be held worldwide in celebration of the 2012 centennial and a limited edition of 100 copies of Finn Juhl’s ‘Chair 44’ will be released by OneCollection, customised using Wenge hardwood. The limited edition will be auctioned by Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers of Copenhagen.


Danish design and sustainability

The Danish furniture industry is a world leader. And many producers, such as Fritz Hansen, Carl Hansen & Søn, Rud. Rasmussen and OneCollection have committed themselves to reducing their environmental impact by limiting their use of toxic chemicals and their CO2 emissions and by sourcing certified timber from stewarded forestry. And one thing all producers of Danish mid-century furniture classics have in common is their dedication to fine craftsmanship and to creating long-lasting quality products.

Finn Juhl’s furniture designs like those of many other legendary Danish Modern designers are still handcrafted in Denmark, although some are crafted in Japan, which reduces OneCollection’s carbon footprint when supplying to the Asian markets where Finn Juhl’s designs have a growing following.


A number of nascent Danish design studios have in recent years indeed defined themselves on the basis of their green, sustainable mission, such as HAY and We:Do:Wood in addition to Mater, a company that has committed itself to the United Nations Global Compact programme.

VIDEO: The Bradleys love Danish design and traveled all the way from California to Denmark just to see how the Danish architecht FINN JUHL lived!