The VLA26, Vega chair by Vilhelm Lauritzen for Carl Hansen & Son

5 August 2022

The Danish company reissues the seat designed by the Danish architect in 1956

Vilhelm Lauritzen was one of the founding fathers of Danish functionalism in the architectural field and having lived a good part of the 20th century (born in 1894 and died in 1984) he also had the merit of evolving this design approach, leading it almost until the 2000s. Author of some of the most famous Danish buildings, such as the first Copenhagen airport and the Vega concert halls, he had a holistic approach to the project and therefore designed not only the structure of the building but also the furnishings that the building would accommodate. With a view to a coherence, precisely functional, overall, which necessarily gave rise to an aesthetic that still identifies the projects today. His furnishings, as well as his buildings, are essential but do not lack style: an elegant but discreet style, with refined details but never for their own sake, always chosen because they improved the user experience.

Today, this approach takes on an even deeper value because we appreciate the design and material quality but also the style. Quintessence of the modernist vision, it furnishes and decorates in a discreet way and therefore fits easily into different types of interiors and of course not only domestic, but also public. In the specific case of Vilhelm Lauritzen, one of his most beloved projects is the building of the Folkets Hus, home of the people, in Copenhagen, originally conceived as a meeting place for the workers’ movement. The architectural value of the building is such that in 1996, after a faithful restoration that respected its modernist architecture, it was transformed into the Vega concert hall and is a symbol of the city’s cultural life.

Among the furnishings designed by Lauritzen for the Folkets Hus there were chairs, tables, panels, friezes, chandeliers, fixtures, even knobs and electrical sockets. The architect’s fixed idea was that the elements should be linked together by a design approach, as well as a formal one. Among these furnishings there was also the VLA26 seat that Carl Hansen & Son decided to put back into production, to get it “out” of the Vega concert hall and make it travel to the most sought-after interiors around the world. Designed for a public space, it has the right style to furnish any type of interior, be it domestic, professional, or intended for hospitality.

Lauritzen’s lesson demonstrates that the details make the difference and the VLA26, renamed the Vega Chair, bears witness to this. Steel, wood, and fabric (or leather) are combined in perfect balance. Steel is the supporting element of the structure, characterized by thin and slightly widened legs that convey immediate stability. The curved wood of the seat and back embraces the body. The upholstery in fabric or leather with light padding gives comfort and completes the overall design. Alternatively, the wood-only version is a tribute to the more radical modernist aesthetic that brings the constituent elements to the essence, without sacrificing character. The curves make this chair gentle and generous, softening the functionalist rigor of the project, as indeed happens in many of Lauritzen’s projects, especially in the lighting, which show a taste that is anything but edgy, as one might expect from one of the founders of Danish functionalism.

Knud Erik Hansen, Chief Executive Officer of Carl Hansen & Son, commented: «Vilhelm Lauritzen’s architecture and design are part of the Danish cultural heritage and what we mean when we talk about functionalism, so we are honored to be the first to present his VLA26 Vega Chair to an international audience. At Carl Hansen & Son we boast a large portfolio of 20th century Danish design masterpieces and Vilhelm Lauritzen’s uncompromising approach to aesthetics and craftsmanship finds its place in it “.

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