How an icon is born:
the OW58 T-Chair
by Ole Wanscher produced by Carl Hansen & Son

27 September 2021

T-Chair

Quintessential of the Danish design of the twentieth century, the seat is an icon that still surprises for its modernity

Carl Hansen & Son brings back into production the OW58, better known as T-Chair, designed by Ole Wanscher in 1958. Wanscher was one of the masters of Danish design and influenced the whole Scandinavian approach with his style. He applied the same canons of architectural design to the design of the furnishings, bringing the functional and aesthetic principles back to a reduced scale. In his projects, the elements are reduced to their essence and combined in a harmonious way. The material of choice is wood, a recurring theme in Danish design, worked with craftsmanship at the service of an aesthetic that is always refined and clean. There is no room for the superfluous, for decoration as an end in itself: Wanscher’s design is pure and essential. At the same time it is warm and familiar thanks to the softness of the lines, the light curves and, of course, the use of wood itself, the “warm” material par excellence.

These characteristics are found in the design of the T-Chair, now produced by Carl Hansen & Son. It owes its pseudonym to the shape that describes the structure with the two rear legs in a central position which are also backrests. This is the distinctive feature of the project: with this invention, Wanscher minimizes the elements while preserving the comfort of the chair. The front legs, in a more extended position, instead guarantee stability. Finally, the cushion makes the chair more comfortable and also refines its style.

A closer look will appreciate the details of the craftsmanship and meticulous workmanship. In particular, the transitions from one wooden element to another: the joints are surprising for their fluidity. It almost seems carved in a single piece of wood and demonstrates that the craftsman’s skill lies in making his intervention disappear. All stages of production take place in the Danish production plant of Carl Hansen & Son where carpenters and craftsmen carry out and control each step. Nothing has been changed from the original design. The only concession was an increase of about two centimeters in the height of the chair. Intervention that improves the ergonomics and therefore satisfies the current need for a seat that can accommodate us for a long time.

This leads us to face another aspect: for which contexts is this session suitable? From a stylistic point of view, it is a minimal furniture, with an openly Scandinavian accent and wood that characterizes its appearance. That’s why it fits naturally in both elegant and informal settings. From a functional point of view, its preferred destination is around the dining table but thanks to its ergonomic structure and its well-balanced cushion it also works well as a desk or meeting chair. It therefore perfectly marries the functional fluidity required of today’s furnishings, while retaining a strong stylistic identity.

«Ole Wanscher – comments Knud Erik Hansen, CEO of the company, had an aptitude for detailed design and dedicated himself to the search for perfect constructions for furniture, which he then gave a more modern aesthetic. The deep respect that Wanscher had for materials, craftsmanship and function is perfectly in line with the values ​​with which Carl Hansen & Son identifies. We are therefore proud to have included this extraordinary furniture designer in our portfolio of great professionals with whom we collaborate». Precisely the details and the attention to design make the T-Chair current and make us appreciate the choice to bring it back into production with the highest quality standards.

Carl Hansen & Søn OW58 T-Chair

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