3 Days of Design: AHEC Showcases New Hardwood Furniture From Visionary Danish Architect

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Born in 1931, Hans Bølling has had a trailblazing career in architecture and design that began in the 1950s. Bølling led the way in establishing the minimalist design style as a global movement, and although he has been responsible for many iconic Danish designs over the decades, he has never before created anything like this.

The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) collaborated with family-owned Danish design company Brdr. Krüger to create Bølling’s first-ever lounge chair and one of a kind office set in American Red Oak, Cherry and Maple. The design pieces made their global debut with a special exhibition at 3 Days of Design in Copenhagen this June.

“I am extremely proud to be able to present three new pieces of furniture that I feel represent my work. I want to convey pure architectural lines and details in my design, which together create human connections and a breeding ground for joy and good living,” said Hans Bølling.

Titled the Home of Hans Bølling, the exhibition features the lounge chair alongside two other new Bølling designs – a stool and a coffee table, both inspired by his classic Tray Table design from 1963. The three furniture pieces have been crafted from three under-used American hardwood species, selected for their combination of sustainability, durability and textured beauty: Red Oak, Cherry, and Maple.

“This is a particularly exciting project for AHEC, as it brings together a very relevant message – the need to expand our timber choices to be truly sustainable, highlighting three high-performing and beautiful woods which are not currently being widely used – and the legacy of craftsmanship and timber knowledge of the Danish design sector. It is a collaboration with two partners with whom we share a love for wood and sustainability; iconic designer/architect Hans Bølling and powerhouse of Danish craftsmanship Krüger,” said David Venables, European director of AHEC.

Now in his 90s, Hans Bølling has been developing the three pieces at his home north of Copenhagen over several years, refining the designs through a series of sketches and models until achieving the final product.

Curated and set-designed by Danish designer Sara Martinsen, The Home of Hans Bølling will offer visitors a striking insight into Bølling’s life and creative process, as well as showcasing the strength, character and versatility of the three renewable hardwoods as design materials. To accompany Bølling’s furniture, Martinsen has created a series of custom art pieces using the same American hardwoods. The artworks take their inspiration from the circle – the shape that defines both Bølling’s original Tray Table and his new works, and which has come to represent sustainability and responsible manufacturing.

“Bølling’s design is functional in its essence and there are no needless materials or details. It is understated elegance – a way of designing that translates to ‘omhyggelig’ in Danish. To combine Hans Bølling’s design and the three under-used wood species is therefore a perfect match. We all need to open our eyes to other materials and consumption habits so we can act more responsibly,” added Venables.

For more information on this and other AHEC projects, visit www.americanhardwood.org.

By Michael Snow

By Michael Snow, Executive Director, American Hardwood Export Council, Sterling, Va 703-435-2900 www.ahec.org

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