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PH4½-4 glass pendant

Poul Henningsen, 1931

The PH4½-4 Glass Pendant consists of an approximately 45 cm top shade and uses lower shades from the 4/4 model. These ‘hybrid’ models were introduced due to the desire to hang pendants at lower heights. The system was also used for wall, table and floor lamps. The PH 4½-4 Glass Pendant in its current form was introduced in 1990.

Dimensions Ø45 x H41 cm

Shades Mouth-blown white opal glass. Anti-glare disc: Purple, spun aluminium

Body High lustre chrome plated, extruded aluminium

Cable length 3 m

Weight 3.2 kg

Light source 1 x E27

Class Ingress protection IP20. Electric shock protection I w. ground

PH 4 ½-4 pendant

Poul Henningsen designed the three-shade system back in 1925-1926. The first lights using the system were designed by Poul Henningsen in cooperation with Louis Poulsen for an exhibition in Paris. This partnership continued right up until his death in 1967. Throughout his life, Poul Henningsen sought to create glare-free light, direct light where it was most needed, and create soft shadows, using incandescent bulbs as a light source. 

The 4½-4 Glass Pendant is a member of the three-shade family which numbers 30 lights today, including three for outdoor use. Thus Poul Henningsen did not just design a light, but an entire system – around a thousand different models have been produced over the years. This wide selection consisted of table, floor and wall lamps, as well as a number of different chandeliers, which were very popular in the 30s for lighting private homes from high ceilings.

There were countless combination options. The lights were available in different colours, as well as a range of sizes. The first shades were made of metal with a painted underside, such as white, gold or silver – depending on whether diffuse, warm or cold light was desired. Glass was later introduced for the three-shade system. In addition to the downward-directed light, glass lamps illuminated the room.

Poul Henningsen was the first person to pursue a scientific approach to light and use the logarithmic spiral as a basis. By using a design based on the logarithmic spiral he achieved even distribution of light over the entire curve of the shade. This even light distribution, together with the diffuse reflection through the glass, made it possible to control glare and shadow. Each shade reduces the amount of light equally, due to their distance from the light source.

The PH light model numbers refer to the shade size. Each top shade had a corresponding set of middle and lower shades. In the ‘pure’ models, such as the 2/2, the top shade has a size of about 20 cm, with corresponding lower shades. 

Poul Henningsen

Né à Copenhague, Poul Henningsen avait pour mère la célèbre actrice danoise Agnes Henningsen. Il n’a jamais obtenu son diplôme d’architecte, mais a étudié à l’école technique de Frederiksberg (Danemark) de 1911 à 1914, puis au Technical College de Copenhague (1914-1917).

Il a commencé à pratiquer l'architecture traditionnelle fonctionnaliste, mais au fil des ans, ses intérêts professionnels ont évolué pour se concentrer principalement sur l'éclairage, qui est ce qui le rend le plus célèbre. Il a également étendu son domaine d’activité à des domaines d’écriture, devenant journaliste et auteur. Pendant une courte période au début de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, il a été l’architecte en chef des jardins de Tivoli à Copenhague. Mais comme beaucoup d'autres créatifs, il a été contraint de fuir le Danemark pendant l'occupation allemande, puis est rapidement devenu un élément vital de la colonie danoise d'artistes vivant en Suède.

Sa longue collaboration avec Louis Poulsen a commencé en 1925 et a duré jusqu'à sa mort. À ce jour, Louis Poulsen bénéficie toujours de son génie. Poul Henningsen était également le premier rédacteur en chef du magazine d'entreprise «NYT». Le PDG de Louis Poulsen à l’époque, Sophus Kaastrup-Olsen, a offert le magazine à PH parce qu’il avait été licencié du journal danois pour lequel il travaillait (ses opinions étaient trop radicales).

Le travail de pionnier de Poul Henningsen sur les relations entre les structures lumineuses, les ombres, l’éblouissement et la reproduction des couleurs, comparé au besoin de lumière de l’homme, reste le fondement des théories lumineuses encore pratiquées par Louis Poulsen.