The CH101 Lounge Chair is one of the lesser-known, however still outstanding, designs of Hans J. Wegner. Designed in the early 1970’s, the chair was manufactured only in a small batch and soon after its production was discontinued. The chair remained forgotten for more than three decades before being reintroduced and put into mass production in 2008 on the occasion of Carl Hansen & Son's 100th anniversary. Hence the chair’s name – “CH101”.
Nicknamed ‘The Master of the Chair’, Hans J. Wegner designed the CH101 Lounge Chair. It was his great passion for the design of chairs that eventually made Wegner a legendary figure in Danish Modernism and world-famous furniture designer. He created more than 500 chairs, many of which went into mass production. Wegner designed the furniture series, consisting of the CH101 and the 2 and 3-seater sofas, in the early 70s with Johannes Hansen, the Danish furniture manufacturer, producing a limited number at that time. The CH101 Chair was brought back to life by the Carl Hansen & Son furniture company. Thanks to the close cooperation with the Hans J. Wegner studio, which provided Carl Hansen & Son with Wegner’s original sketches and specification of the chair from the studio’s archives, the final version of the chair was ready to launch into mass-production by 2008. This furniture design classic, produced under the new brand, enjoyed instant commercial success thus finally fulfilling Wegner’s core belief; that a chair is only finished when somebody actually sits in it.
The form of the chair is simple, yet elegant and sophisticated. Its design embodies its creator’s famous credo: “A chair should have no rear view. It should be beautiful from all sides and angles." Indeed, the chair with its famously geometric shape is very appealing and futuristic from any angle. It feels as modern as it did almost half a century ago. A light, attractive and comfortable lounge chair, which speaks for itself of everyday containment. An excellent example of Wegner’s constant striving towards simplicity to create sculptural beauty, comfort and outstanding stability. The chair’s shell is made from multiple birch wood components, which are connected with dowels. The frame is then buffed for a smooth finish. The sophisticated manufacturing techniques, including CNC (Computer Numerical Control) routing, utilized in the production, highlight very clearly why the chair’s production was extremely problematic and unprofitable with the technology available in the 1970’s.
The form of the chair is reduced to the essentials, making it look pure and subtle. Perhaps one of the most distinctive features of the CH101 Lounge Chair is its skid base, which is made of bent straps of brushed stainless steel. The base adds visual lightness and provides a balanced contrast to the capacious seat. The straps of brushed stainless steel were also used to finish the front and the back of the trapezoidal armrests, adding to the chair’s sophisticated appeal. The high level of comfort can be attributed to the thick, reversible cushions. They are built on a foam core that is surrounded by a mixture of European down and foam granulate. The customers can choose from three types of leather upholsteries, such as: semi-aniline ox hide with a natural grain and a coated surface, cowhide or full grain, uncoated pure aniline ox hide, available in a wide range of colours. Besides the visual appeal, the supple leather upholstery adds to the chair’s exceptional comfort and hints at its lounge nature.
Although the chair looks like a masterpiece of modern art, it is fully functional and very durable. Its elegant, exquisite design, combined with the impeccable quality of craftsmanship, has earned the chair a very special place in the history of interior design. This timeless piece of furniture still looks fresh and intriguing, making it a great, tasteful addition to any modern interior.