Carl Hansen & Søn has released Contour Chair, an iconic classic from the archives of Danish designer Børge Mogensen, first shown at the Copenhagen Cabinetmakers' Guild Furniture Exhibition in 1949. The lounge chair, with its form-pressed veneer backrest, attracted considerable attention, as it was a strong exponent of a completely new design idiom from Mogensen, known until then for a simple, functional approach to design that was grounded in his strong social conscience.
With the Contour Chair, Mogensen took a break from working in solid wood to experiment with form-pressed veneer - a material and technique opening up new possibilities for experimental style and design at that time. Like several of his contemporaries, Mogensen was inspired by the American architect duo Charles and Ray Eames and their work with veneer.
The Contour Chair was originally designed for a table Mogensen created for the same exhibition in 1949. The organic and laid-back appearance is in line with his commitment to create furniture for informal interiors that support freedom of expression.
"The sculptural Contour Chair stands out visually and materially from many of Mogensen's earlier furniture designs, but it does feature a number of typical Mogensen details, such as the mortise and tenon joints completed with contrasting wooden wedges, which are also used in his Hunting Table," commented Carl Hansen & Son CEO Knud Erik Hansen. "These details reflect his tried-and-tested approach to design with craftsmanship at its heart. The Contour Chair is manufactured according to Mogensen's original drawings, and as he attached great importance to comfort, we - in collaboration with Mogensen's family - have chosen to upholster the seat for added comfort."
The Contour Chair has a solid wooden frame with angled legs and a curved and backward-sloping veneer seat. The backrest, which gives the chair its distinctive look, is a slender, form-pressed veneer shell with two organically shaped cut-outs, enabling it to be securely fixed into the chair seat.
"The cut-outs in the backrest are both decorative and necessary in order to bend the veneer into just the right shape," explained Knud Erik Hansen. "The rounded back also allows for flexible sitting positions. The chair is relatively low, which gives it a relaxed and laid-back aesthetic. In this way, Mogensen managed to successfully create a relatively small chair which is nevertheless very comfortable."
Photos: Courtesy of Carl Hansen & Søn