House of Finn Juhl

Reading Chair

design Finn Juhl, 1953

The Reading chair is one of Finn Juhl's more simple, yet elegant, pieces. The chair is characterized by intricate details and a quirky story. The chair was designed in 1953 and allows for multiple sitting positions - a unique design function which is typical for Finn Juhl's furniture. Earlier on, the Reading Chair has only been available with an upholstered seat, but it has now been relaunched with a veneered seat - as seen on the very first version, which Finn Juhl designed for the company Bovirke.


Finn Juhl designed the Reading Chair as both a dining room chair and as a reading chair. It is designed to be equally comfortable whether you choose to sit facing the front or the back. This might sound both odd and complicated, but thanks to Finn Juhl’s genius, the result was a simple, unpretentious, yet thoroughly well-designed and visually pleasing chair. The Reading Chair is manufactured in solid oak with seat and back piece in plywood of oak and walnut with an outer layer in walnut. The horizontal top piece is in solid oak and walnut. The chair is also available in a black painted variant.

Wood oak & walnut
Seat veneer or upholstered with fabric or leather

Dimensions L52 x P58 x H74 cm – Seat height 45 cm  

Technical sheet

Reading chair
fabric or leather seat

oak/walnut or black

from 989 €

Reading chair
veneer seat

oak/walnut or black

995 €

> explore fabrics and leather

Finn Juhl

As a teenager, Finn Juhl (1912-1989) wanted to become an art historian, having a passion for the fine arts since childhood. His father stopped him and Finn Juhl started architectural studies. Later, when his fame as a designer of furniture acquired, he speaks of himself as an autodidact, in reference to this upset vocation that forced him to walk intellectually on a lonely way. His style owes much to this singular trajectory, with its non academic interpretation of art visible in his work. Finn Juhl started his studies in 1930, a key period which saw the birth of modern design and furniture.


His modern offices in central Copenhagen was greeting his visitors with a huge Japanese fish in paper, symbol of imagination. Rather than thinking in terms of practical construction, Finn Juhl had the mind-set of a sculptor, when he shaped a piece of furniture. In the 1940s and 1950s, this way of working had never been seen before. His ambition was to design furniture with movement and life.

Juhl took pride in making both the structurally supportive elements of the furniture and the seated person look as though they are floating. In some of his chairs, the backrest and the seat are almost invisibly joined, as if they were clouds floating through the room.


In creating his furniture, Finn Juhl worked with two elements: The carrying element, and the carried. He eventually became known for his special ability to separate the bearing parts from the borne. This is one of many examples of how he broke free from conventional working methods and found his inspiration in art.