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Passing on the legacy

The Very Beginning

Ever since we opened the first office in Hans Henrik’s mother’s basement in 1990, our mission has been to create a company rooted in the true passion for good furniture design. The playing field is the cross-section where functional design and craftsmanship of the highest quality meet art.

In 1999 we were contacted by the widow of Finn Juhl, Hanne Wilhelm Hansen, with the purpose of creating one of his designs. A sofa for a commemorative exhibition. The idea harmonized perfectly with our ethos as we already admired Finn Juhl greatly. However, at that time, we never imagined that it would be possible to work with his designs, his name or his brand, and we still consider it a tremendous honor to have the opportunity to protect and pass on Finn Juhl’s legacy.

 

Ivan Hansen (left) and Hans Henrik Sørensen (right).
Hans Henrik Sørensen (left) and Ivan Hansen (right).
Hanne Wilhelm Hansen and Finn Juhl.
The Starting Point of our Collection

Protecting the Legacy

When relaunching Finn Juhl’s furniture we have to put ourselves into his mindset and try to understand him. It is all about feeling. One cannot make his furniture just by having the technical and commercial approach. We have to be extremely critical of what we do, because there is no bottom line when it comes to Finn Juhl. Because his designs are so organic, every single cabinetmaker, who manufactured his furniture back in the day, gave their individual expression to the details. We also know that Finn Juhl himself decided on some corrections or variations to the original piece of furniture when he worked with the cabinetmaker in the workshop. Sometimes he did not correct his drawing according to the final result. This is the reason why we often see that older vintage pieces from Niels Vodder or other cabinetmakers vary from the original drawings.

Our collection takes its starting point both in the original drawings as well as the older original pieces from his house, private collections or museums. While Finn Juhl's original and subtle work on paper clearly communicate his ingenuity, the drawings also make us able to trace his developments from sketch to final visualisation. However, in some cases we have to imagine what Finn Juhl would have done. This part of our job is perhaps the most demanding, but it is also very interesting. Finn Juhl’s lifework is a treasure and there are many more unique designs in the archive for which we have big plans in the years to come.

 

"When we relaunch Finn Juhl's furniture we always try to figure out what he originally intended. We study the drawings closely and compare them to the original furniture pieces, which we measure. We know that Finn Juhl often disagreed with the cabinetmakers in terms of his organic expression. As we are unable to ask for Finn Juhl's advice today, we have to try our very best to put ourselves in his shoes and imagine what he would have wanted, to achieve the intended expression. No precise answer exists." Hans Henrik Sørensen, Co-founder of House of Finn Juhl, tells and continues;
"Despite the efforts of many, it is hard to become an expert judge of what is right or wrong. We only met Finn Juhl once, when we were very young. But after working with the development and relaunch of more than 50 Finn Juhl pieces over the span of 20 years, we sort of feel that we know him and that he is tagging along on our journey. This helps us being confident in the decisions that we make." - Hans Henrik Sørensen, Co-founder of House of Finn Juhl
Finn Juhl's original drawing of the interior of the former the Wilhelm Hansen sheet music shop which today houses our showroom. Photo credit: Pernille Klemp, Designmuseum Danmark.
The Wilhelm Hansen Foundation

The History Behind Our Showroom

The building which houses our showroom is nothing short of historical. Since 1879, it has been the home of music trading and publishing in Copenhagen. Through five generations, the Wilhelm Hansen family has run a music publishing house, note printing business and a sheet music shop from here. The Wilhelm Hansen Music Publishers were the biggest in all of Scandinavia and grew to become synonymous with the treasure of Danish music.

From 1960 and until his death in 1989, Finn Juhl and Hanne Wilhelm Hansen were a couple. Hanne Wilhelm Hansen and her sister, Lone, were both 4th generation successors to the Wilhelm Hansen Music Publishers.

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