about Poul Kjaerholm

POUL KJAERHOLM (1929 - 1980)

Poul Kjaerholm was born in Oster Vra in Denmark on January 8, 1929. Besides Hans Wegner, Poul Henningsen, Arne Jacobsen and Verner Panton, Poul Kjaerholm is one of the most important Danish designers of the 20th century. Before he studied at the school for applied arts in Copenhagen, Poul Kjaerholm had learnt the craft of a carpenter.  

The mixture of his educational background as a craftsman and the newly learnt techniques and design impressions he gained during his studies determined Poul Kjaerholm´s designs throughout his career. We can see that by just looking at his diploma thesis, the chair “PK25“: a frame made of cut, chromium-plated flat steel combined with a traditional covering made of flag cable.

But Poul Kjaerholm never refused the influences of great designers. His design PK22, a visitor’s chair, reminds us of the

Barcelona Chair designed by Mies van der Rohe. Kjaerholm´s lounger called Hammock from 1965, also called PK24, reminds us of another great model – LC4 by Le Corbusier. PK24 shows the same elongated form and ergonomic curve as its famous model. Nevertheless Poul Kjaerholm always managed to create a completely new interpretation by simplifying the furniture and therefore achieving a lighter design closer to the Nordic style.

Early on companies like E.Kold Christensen or Fritz Hansen started to produce and sell the designs of Poul Kjaerholm. Fritz Hansen still sells the greatest classics designed by Kjaerholm.  

From 1952 to 1956 Poul Kjaerholm worked as a teacher at the school for applied arts in Copenhagen and at the end of the 1970s he became a teacher at the academy of arts in Copenhagen. He was director of this academy until he died on April 18, 1980.