Originally trained as a cabinetmaker, Poul Kjærholm skillfully mastered wood as part of his material repertoire, expanding over glass, leather and steel to traditional cabinetmaking. Particularly at the beginning of his career, he demonstrated great stylistic confidence with the organic material, and Kjærholm possessed a strong sense of the intrinsic potential of wood.
This ability is very evident in the unique furniture series Poul Kjærholm developed in 1955 for the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. The Academy needed a number of tables for lecturers and students, and Kjærholm, who had recently joined the academic staff, designed a Professor Desk (PK52) and a Student Desk (PK52A). It was through this process that Poul Kjærholm perfected the synthesis between craftsmanship and industrial design, drawing on his experience in both cabinetmaking and furniture design to develop his highly recognizable signature style.
Reversible table top The PK52 table was designed to equip the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. Students used at the time a plans reproduction technique involving wetting them abundantly. Poul Kjærholm designed the PK52 table to allow the succession of courses by giving it an easily reversible table top: it was simply placed inside the metal frame. Each new class had just to turn it over to have a dry surface. This is why the PK52 table is now equipped with a reversible table top, whether in wood veneer or laminate; the latter is besides bicoloured, light grey / black.
NB: the tabletop is reversible only without drawer
Base black powder coated stainless steel
Table top grey / black double-sided laminate or oak veneer
PK52A Student Desk 141,5 x 85 x H72 cm
PK52 Professor Desk 186,5 x 85 x H72 cm
Drawer 40 x 9 x H85 cm (optional)
PK52A – Student Desk
PK52 – Professor Desk
Black painted oak
Black painted oak + oiled oak drawer
Acclaimed for his distinctive style of furniture design, Poul Kjaerholm was born in Øster Vrå, Denmark in 1929. His pieces are considered to contain a minimalist and articulated form, all in relief with a style that is still famous around the world.
From modest beginnings as a cabinetmaker apprentice at the Gronbech workshop in 1948, Kjaerholm continued to forge his ideology at the Danish School of Arts and Crafts in Copenhagen. Far from shunning the majority of his Scandinavian counterparts, the Dane chose steel as the main material rather than wood. "The potential of steel is not the only thing that interests me, the refraction of light on its surface is an important part of my artistic work. "
Awarded the prestigious Lunning Prize in 1958 and the Trennali Grand Prix in Milan in 1960, Kjaerholm's drawings continue to be featured in the permanent collections of the New York Museum of Modern Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. in many other museums across Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Germany.