Modern Icons: Poul Kjærholm's PK22 Easy Chair

The design world already had its eyes Poul Kjærholm by the time he graduated from the Danish School of Arts and Sciences in 1952. During school he studied industrial design under architect Jøen Utzon and apprenticed under Hans Wegner. Both of these influences are obvious in what Kjærholm produced; he loved to explore the contrasts between architecture and sculpture and between industrial and natural elements.

That is clearly seen in his PK set of furniture, especially the PK22 Easy Chair. The contour is clean and simple, combining straight lines with a supple shape. The structure’s simple engineering is simple to see in the minimalist layout. The legs are crafted of steel whereas the chairs come in organic materials (leather or wicker).

John Maniscalco Architecture

Kjærholm learned cabinetmaking for a teenager and became a highly skilled woodworker. Until he became known for his chairs he was certified as a journeyman cabinetmaker. He moved on to acquire several design awards and maintained a consistent career in the academic field of design as well.

Design Within Reach

PK22 Easy Chair, Wicker | DWR – $3,797

Among Kjærholm’s first chair designs, the PKO chair, was initially inspired by the lightness of early Greek klismos chairs. This lightness continued to be a consequence of his designs as the PK series evolved.

In 1982, Fritz Hansen took on the production and sales of The Kjærholm Collection, made from 1951 to 1967 designs. Newly made chairs are licensed exclusively by Fritz Hansen and could be found at modern furniture retailers.

John Maniscalco Architecture

The PK22 is a comfortable lounge chair that doesn’t occupy much visual space. In this room the chairs provide two additional seats and preserve the perspective throughout the area and through the windows. Clunkier upholstered chairs would have weighed down the room.

John Maniscalco Architecture

This seating area isn’t really deep and needs something low and light. The PK22s are the ideal size and shape, plus they include just the right amount of leather to the material palette.

NAUTILUS Architects

Furniture light in color and weight keeps an open and airy feel in this relaxing pool home. The lounge chair in the foreground is Kjærholm’s Hammock Chaise, also known as the PK24 Chaise Longue.

See this room in the other hand.

Robert Young Architects

Using wicker PK22s increases the contemporary beachy vibe of the home.

Fougeron Architecture FAIA

Here a set of wicker PK22s well contrast Barcelona Chairs upholstered in leather.

David Howell Design

The layered mix of furnishings in this attic includes a concrete bench, a woven African chair and a pair of classic PK22 chairs. Inside the bigger attic space, Kjærholm’s chairs also relate to the classic Danish dining chairs in the dining room in addition to modern counter stools crafted of repurposed leather conveyor belts and steel (found here) in the kitchen area. In the words of”The Great Lebowski,” these chairs”tie the space together.”

See the remainder of this loft.

Great Style: Danish Modern
Modern Icons: Jens Risom Chairs
18 Great Mid-Century Modern Chairs
Modern Icons: The Anziano Chair

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