The Spanish Chair by Børge Mogensen turns 60 this year. To commemorate the birthday, furniture maker Fredericia presents a limited edition of the famous chair. And the story behind it is quite good, too.
Danish designer Børge Mogensen went on holiday to Spain – and experienced a completely different design culture from the one he knew. One day, he came across an intriguing piece of furniture: an old chair with a wide seat and a couple of wide armrests. Mogensen adored the chair, but also believed it was a bit too convoluted in its design.
It inspired him, though, and he began drawing. The armrests grew wider, the convolutedness disappeared and the seat evolved into a big leather piece with durable straps holding it tightly together. When finished, Mogensen named his creation the Spanish Chair – in honour of the one he saw on his travels.
In 1958 the comfortable lounge chair became available to the public. Furniture maker Fredericia produced and sold it, as it has done ever since, ensuring high quality. Today, the Spanish Chair stands as a Danish design icon and to celebrate its 60th birthday Fredericia is now presenting a stylish anniversary edition – in a new olive green colour that smoothly blends in with its soap treated oak frame.
But, why the green colour?
The Spanish Chair was only ever available in natural, black or cognac-coloured leather. However, the late Børge Mogensen was never afraid of using colours and neither is Fredericia. So, the furniture maker searched through the designer’s archives and came across a shade of green. Fredericia instantly knew it was the right colour, explains PR Manager Michael Schönwiese:
“Olive green was one of Børge Mogensen’s favourite colours. In fact, his old summerhouse had the very same olive green painted on all the door and floor panels. The colour was also immensely popular back in the 50s, so it fits well with the time period.”
Børge Mogensen was a cabinet maker as well as a designer. That enabled him to construct the Spanish Chair in such a way that it will endure for generations to come. Just ask Rasmus Mogensen. He is an accomplished photographer who lives and works in Paris – and the grandchild of Børge Mogensen. In his home you’ll find the Spanish Chair as a vital centrepiece.
“In addition to being beautiful and different from other chairs, it is incredibly comfortable and practical – there is always space on the armrest for a glass of apple juice and a small plate of something tasty,” Ramus Mogensen recalls with a smile.
The anniversary edition is available until 31 December. However, the 60th birthday is not the only reason why Fredericia wanted to celebrate the old lounge chair.
“The Spanish Chair means a lot to our company. Our design philosophy is built around it and we constantly look towards the work of Børge Mogensen for inspiration,” Schönwiese says.
Rasmus Mogensen agrees on that. He was surprised to see the look of the new anniversary chair – to him, the combination of light oak and green leather makes it seem even more modern – though it works great with a design that in itself is already timeless.
“I love the way the leather is stretched on like a saddle and I love to hate its squeaking when I meditate in it in the morning. But what I love most about it is that it will last forever and my children’s children and their children will one day be able to enjoy it,” says Rasmus Mogensen.