PK80™ - In an ongoing attempt to unite the sublime with the absolutely necessary, Poul Kjærholm designed the PK80™ daybed.
PK80™ – In an ongoing attempt to unite the sublime with the absolutely necessary, Poul Kjærholm designed the PK80™ daybed.

Poul Kjærholm (1929 – 1980) was a Danish designer. He was particularly interested in construction materials, especially steel, which he considered a material deserving the artistic respect commonly awarded to wood.

Kjærholm was born in Østervr, Denmark, and started his career as a cabinetmaker’s apprentice with Gronbech in 1948 before attending the Danish School of Arts and Crafts Copenhagen in 1952. He married Hanne Kjrholm, an accomplished architect, in 1953. In the same year (1952), he began an impressive career as an educator with his natural authority. Still, he continued researching with Prof. Erik Herlow and Prof. Palle Suenson.


He worked for his friend Ejvind Kold Christiansen, an entrepreneur who gave him considerable creative freedom and created an extensive range of furniture beginning in the mid-1950s. His distinct style can be seen in his PKO minimalist plywood series from 1952. The 1955 PK61 coffee table has a whimsically irrational supporting structure that can be seen through the glass top.

In 1958, he received international recognition for his contributions to the ‘Formes Scandinaves’ exhibition in Paris and the legendary ‘Lunning Prize’ for his PK22 chair, which he received the same year. He was awarded the Grand Prize at the Milan Triennale in 1957 and 1960.

In 1959, he was appointed lecturer and assistant at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen.

His PK24 Chaise Longue, introduced in 1965, typified his mature style. Steel and woven cane are combined in their clear flowing lines.

He received the Danish ID Prize for product design in 1967.

In 1973, he became the director of the Institute for Architecture. In 1976, he was promoted to professor, where he remained until his death four years later.


Most of his furniture was made in Hellerup by his friend E. Kold Christensen. The Republic of Fritz Hansen, a leading Danish furniture maker, has been making a wide variety of those items since 1982. The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and other museum collections in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Germany all have his designs in their permanent collections.

PK 25 Chair by Poul Kjærholm
PK 25 Chair by Poul Kjærholm

Most of Kjrholm’s contemporaries used wood as their primary furniture construction material, typical of Scandinavian architecture. Steel was Kjrholm’s primary material, but he still mixed it with other materials like wood, leather, cane, or marble. “Steel’s constructive potential is not the only thing that interests me; the refraction of light on its surface is an important part of my artistic work. I consider steel a material with the same artistic merit as wood and leather,” he commented.

In 2004, Kjærholm’s son established Kjærholm Productions to produce those items of his father’s furniture that Fritz Hansen had discontinued production in 2003.

PK9 Tulip Chair by Poul Kjaerholm (replica)
PK9 Tulip Chair by Poul Kjaerholm (replica)

Some works:

  • Lounge chair “PK25” (1951/52, production started in 1956): made on one steel sheet. The cover uses a sailing cord/rope-like called a “flag halyard.”
  • Coffee table “PK61” (1955): made to match PK22, the top can be in glass/marble/granite/slate
  • Lounge chair “PK22″(1956): famous and well known
  • Day Bed “PK80” (1957)
  • Tripod stool “PK33″(1959): same construction technique as on daybed PK80 (top & feet sticks together using rubber rings)
  • The Tulip Chair (1961)
  • X Stool “PK91” (1961): ball bearing crossing
  • Hammock chair “PK24″(1965): “Chaise Longue”, reversible structure
  • Rocking Chair “PK20” (1967)


Wikipedia contributors. (2021, March 26). Poul Kjærholm. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 01:55, April 2, 2021, from

Danish Furniture – Amazon

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