Poul Henningsen was born in Copenhagen to the famous Danish actress Agnes Henningsen. He never graduated as an architect, but studied at The Technical School at Frederiksberg, Denmark from 1911-14, and then at Technical College in Copenhagen from 1914-17.
 
He started practicing traditional functionalistic architecture, but over the years his professional interests changed to focus mainly on lighting which is what he is most famous for. He also expanded his field of occupation into areas of writing, becoming a journalist and an author. For a short period at the beginning of WWII, he was the head architect of the Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen. But like many other creative people, he was forced to flee Denmark during the German occupation but soon became a vital part of the Danish colony of artists living in Sweden.
 
His lifelong collaboration with Louis Poulsen Lighting began in 1925 and lasted until his death. To this day, Louis Poulsen Lighting still benefits from his genius. Poul Henningsen was also the first editor of the company magazine “NYT”. The CEO of Louis Poulsen at the time, Sophus Kaastrup-Olsen, gave the magazine to PH as a gift because he had been terminated from the Danish newspaper he worked for (his opinions were too radical).
 
Poul Henningsen's pioneering work concerning the relations between light structures, shadows, glare, and color reproduction—compared to man’s need for light remains the fondation of the lighting theories still practiced by Louis Poulsen Lighting.

Poul Henningsen

PH 3 ½-2 ½ Table was designed in 1928 and is one of many development projects undertaken by PH in connection with the development of his world-famous three-shade system. The table lamp is based on PH's original drawings, and comes with the first type of shade holder, with adjustment screws. The top metal shade has a rolled edge, a decorative and stabilising feature that makes the shade appear thicker than the actual material. The two bottom shades are made of mouth-blown opal glass. PH found that this combination utilises the light source more efficiently, directing the light downwards due to the reflection from the white inner surface of the top shade. The frame is brown painted brass giving the lamp the same appearance as the burnished brass lamps of the time – a process that is no longer recommended due to environmental considerations.
 
Dimensions Ø33xH45cm
Finish Red, green, yellow and white, powder coated.
Material Top shade: Spun aluminium. Other shades: Mouth-blown white opal glass. Shade holder: Silk matt brown brass. Stand: Silk matt brown brass.
Mounting Cord type: Plastic with plug. Cord length: 2.5 m. Switch: On the cord.
Weight Min: 2.5 kg Max: 2.6 kg
Light source E14
Class Ingress protection IP20. Electric shock protection II w/o ground.

Louis Poulsen

 


PH 3½-2½ table lamp

 

design Poul Henningsen, 1928

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