Danish designer Hans J. Wegner preferred to work in solid wood, but occasionally he explored the use of bent plywood, and for that we are very thankful. Sometimes called the “smiling chair,” his Shell Chair (1963) achieves a floating lightness due to its wing-like seat and the arching curves of its tapered legs. And while it stands on only three legs, this chair has an absolute stability that could be achieved only by someone with Wegner’s expertise in cabinetmaking and architecture. Wegner’s belief that a chair “should be beautiful from all sides and angles” is especially evident with his Shell Chair. This comfortable masterpiece is a marvel of grace and beauty. Made in Denmark.
Form-pressed oak, walnut or beech veneer; molded cold foam seat and back; Maharam fabric upholstery.
Hans Wegner stands among designers Finn Juhl, Arne Jacobsen, Børge Mogensen, Poul Kjærholm and Verner Panton as a master of 20th-century Danish Modernism. More specifically, he was instrumental in developing a body of work known as organic functionalism. His early training included both carpentry and architecture; he worked for Erik Møller and Arne Jacobsen designing furniture for the Århus Town Hall in the early 1940s before establishing his own furniture studio.
Until the 1960s, Wegner typically collaborated with cabinetmaker Johannes Hansen to realize his designs, most notably gracefully tapered and curved solid wood chairs, often composites of wood and woven rattan or leather. He occasionally experimented with laminates, as in the Three-Legged Shell Chair (1963), or steel and ox hide as in the Ox-Chair (1960) for Erik Jørgensen. While he is best known for his chairs, Wegner has also created memorable cabinetry, desks, tables, beds and lighting. Read more >