//Trip and expenses were sponsored by Fredericia.
A little while ago I and a few other colleagues had the chance to visit the Fredericia showroom in Copenhagen, learn more about the history and designs of Fredericia Furniture but also, enjoy a full day of an amazing tour, part of the Scandi design Tour 2017 organized by Fredericia and Georg Jensen. I have already written about the day we spend at Georg Jensen at my Inside Georg Jensen : The making of the Torun Bangle post, for a full tour you are welcomed to read both!
Starting our tour we left hotel SP34 and walked towards the Fredericia Showroom in a beautiful sunny day in Copenhagen. The new Showroom at the top of the historic former Royal Mail House was renovated and restored to display the entire collection of Fredericia designs, a creative workspace and a gallery with changing exhibitions. We met with Thomas and Rasmus Graversen (2nd and 3nd generation owners of the company) on the first floor of the showroom, where first we were introduced to some iconic classic designs, like the Spanish chair, the Trinidad chair , the 2213 sofa and the Søborg Chair . Fredericia is also proud of collaborations with a carefully chosen circle of international designers, all renown for their exceptional level of design integrity. All with the ambition of creating contemporary design that is always beautifully crafted, relevant and aesthetically intriguing. Already iconic examples include the Swoon chair ( as seen above in the Space Copenhagen offices) and the Spine Collection from Space Copenhagen.
The Hunting Chair, as seen below, designed by Børge Mogensen in 1950, was Mogensen’s first work with exposed wooden framing and saddle leather. The chair in the Fredericia showroom is the very first working prototype, we were lucky that the showroom was exhibitioning such rare iconic furniture. With the Spanish Chair Mogensen expanded upon his work with solid oak and saddle leather. The chair was launched in 1958 as part of an innovative living space exhibition, in which all tables were removed from the floor to create an open living space. Fredericia has its roots in traditional craftsmanship based on a deep understanding of natural materials like vegetable tanned leather and solid wood. Solid pieces of oak from sustainable European forests are refined and processed; creating the elegant frame for the iconic Spanish Chair. Each part of the timber frame for the Spanish Chair is assembled with wooden dowels and bonded together under high pressure to ensure strength and stability for decades to come. It takes a steady hand to colour the leather edges of the Spanish Chair and continuing our tour in the Fredericia showroom we were treated to a craftmanship class by one of the craftsmen from Tränsjo Garveri , who showed us parts of the process.The entire production requires fourteen days of patient craftsmanship and passionate dedication to complete the iconic Spanish Chair. You can see the Spanish chair in the making in a video at Fredericia website here and gain even more insight in the design and the process. Below you can see some photos from the process captured by me, and then the Spanish chair displayed in the beautiful rooftop part of the showroom on the top floor where at the evening we were treated to an exquisite dinner and cocktails.
We were lucky to be able to experience prototypes in our tour, the 2213 sofa as seen above Mogensen designed for his own home in 1962, and it is that very one that is displayed here. With generous proportions, modest aesthetic, a choice of materials and execution second to none, the sofa achieves Mogensen’s ambition to create the ultimate sofa. From the solid hardwood frame construction, to the carefully measured ratio of foam to feather in the cushions, the sofa part of the collection is thoroughly uncompromising. The bull hides used at Fredericia are of the highest calibre, from animals that have been raised under strict ethical guidelines. Every sofa and chair in the collection is 100% hand crafted and upholstered in the Fredericia factory in Denmark.
Even though I visit Copenhagen a lot these days for work, I was still very happy that the team had arranged for us to have lunch at a cafe a short walk by, that serves something all Danish people enjoy for lunch everyday, the unique smørrebrød (literally spread bread, or open faced sandwich). Invariably based on rye bread, smørrebrød can have an almost limitless number of different toppings, from herring, to raw beef, seafood and egg, and it is delicious, you can take my word for it.
After lunch, taking advantage of the beautiful weather we walked towards Space Copenhagen offices, where the talented architects ( and designers) duo Peter Bundgaard Rützou ( above ) and Signe Bindslev Henriksen ( below), talked to us about the design process from concept to prototype to production of few of their iconic designs for Fredericia, the Swoon chair and Spine Collection.
Space Copenhagen originally designed Spine for the interior design for a Michelin starred restaurant in 2011. The Spine series has a solid character where the texture of the wood and upholstery are given solid emphasis. The hand-sewn upholstery for the chair is inspired by techniques that were developed at Fredericia’s workshop for Børge Mogensen’s exclusive 1960’s leather series. Spine is a fusion of the organic, solid, and modern. In designing the series, Space Copenhagen felt their way forward using their intuition, until reaching a balanced design that invites many hours of relaxation. The Swoon was designed to fill the gap between a conventional lounge chair and a typical armchair – for use in lounge areas as well as private homes. The organic, yet structured design holds the seated body and provides an instant feeling of relaxation while offering excellent back support.
After our visit to Space Copenhagen, it was time to return to SP34 for a quick rest, then head back to Fredericia Showroom for a beautiful dinner on the rooftop. I dont have photos from the dinner but, the table was set with Georg Jensen tableware while we seated in an array of all Fredericia chairs, iconic classics and new favorites. At the end of the night we moved outside on the balcony to learn how to make our own cocktails using the new Georg Jensen Sky bar collection. All that with an exquisite view of Copenhagen from above.
I want to thank the Fredericia and Georg Jensen team for organising the Scandi design Tour 2017showing us around Copenhagen. It was a fascinating two days where not only I got to be with fellow colleagues, but all of us got a chance to learn the history and appreciate even more these iconic Danish brands.
I hope everyone enjoyed these series of posts as much as I enjoyed taking photos during the tour!
// Photography by Katerina Dima
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Styling and photography by Katerina Dima unless otherwise stated.