Henning Larsen designs translucent pavilion for Fritz Hansen’s 150th anniversary

Fritz Hansen collaborated with Henning Larsen to create the wooden and polycarbonate pavilion for 3daysofdesign in Copenhagen, based on Nordic architecture and designed for disassembly.

by STIRworldPublished on : Jun 23, 2022

Danish architectural firm Henning Larsen created a 350 sqm, translucent pavilion to celebrate furniture brand Fritz Hansen’s 150th anniversary, during the 3daysofdesign festival in Copenhagen (June 15-17, 2022). The Nordic-inspired, sustainable pavilion centres around daylight and honest materials, and was placed within the Grønnegården of the Designmuseum Denmark, surrounded by lush greens. “The pavilion’s design is deliberately simple – a shell-like, transparent structure, letting daylight and nature in, and forming an exclusive setting for the exhibition of Fritz Hansen’s furniture. The design follows a Nordic approach, where simplicity, natural elements, and high-quality materials are of utmost importance,” shares Henning Larsen. The wooden architecture will remain in the garden and be used by Designmuseum Denmark for exhibitions, workshops and more, until mid-autumn.

The ribbed wooden exterior of the Fritz Hansen Pavilion is topped by a low, slanted roof | Fritz Hansen Pavilion by Henning Larsen | STIRworld
The ribbed wooden exterior of the Fritz Hansen Pavilion is topped by a low, slanted roof Image: Laura Stamer

"Celebrating the 150 years anniversary of Fritz Hansen, we wanted to create a spatial experience that makes a sustainable home for the furniture it exhibits. A facilitator for the design of Fritz Hansen. Built with solid wood, the pavilion is inspired by the garden it is situated in, creating a hybrid space with fluid transitions between inside and out," said Eva Ravnborg, Market Director Denmark, Partner at Henning Larsen, explaining how the pavilion becomes an instrument elevating the designs showcased.

The shell-like, translucent pavilion was created as part of 3 Days of Design in Copenhagen, Denmark | Fritz Hansen Pavilion by Henning Larsen | STIRworld
The shell-like, translucent pavilion was created as part of 3daysofdesign in Copenhagen, Denmark Image: Laura Stamer

In line with circular design principles, the Fritz Hansen Pavilion made of low carbon materials was mindfully designed to be disassembled, ensuring minimised waste, and material reuse elsewhere, including in the future reconstruction of Fritz Hansen’s own headquarters. The designed space will serve as a platform for initiatives such as summer schools, exhibitions, and workshops, where visitors and locals can participate and meet the creative community.

Inside the translucent Fritz Hansen Pavilion | Fritz Hansen Pavilion by Henning Larsen | STIRworld
Inside the translucent Fritz Hansen Pavilion Image: Laura Stamer

The simplicity of the ribbed structure also relays a crucial aspect of design – of being intentional and proper with its processes, of forgoing superfluous elements and keeping just the indispensable. The sunlight streaming into the translucent space makes the temporary, architectural installation literally “breathe”, perfuming its minimal spaces with daylight. "Design matters not only in the aesthetic, spatial experience dimension, because of course it matters there. But design matters down to the very detail and how you design that," elaborates Ravnborg.

Black wooden slats alternate with translucent polycarbonate to form the walls of the pavilion | Fritz Hansen Pavilion by Henning Larsen | STIRworld
Black wooden slats alternate with translucent polycarbonate to form the walls of the pavilion Image: Laura Stamer
Closeup of the ribbed wooden façade | Fritz Hansen Pavilion by Henning Larsen | STIRworld
Closeup of the ribbed wooden façade Image: Laura Stamer

Sitting low with a stepped roof, the pavilion was created sans glue, nails or welding. Black Ghulam was the main, sustainable material of choice, referencing timber traditionally used in Nordic architecture, along with translucent polycarbonate that lets in ample daylight, during Denmark’s long summer days. Black wooden slats were used with alternating translucent polycarbonate to create the walls and an 18th century-inspired low gabled, slanted roof, while the walls and floors inside utilise plywood planks, creating an exclusive space for the featured, built-in furniture designs by Fritz Hansen.

The pavilion sits low with a stepped roof within the Grønnegården of the Designmuseum Denmark, surrounded by lush greens | Fritz Hansen Pavilion by Henning Larsen | STIRworld
The pavilion sits low with a stepped roof within the Grønnegården of the Designmuseum Denmark, surrounded by lush greens Image: Laura Stamer

The entire wooden structure is supported by a point screw foundation, its sustainable design faithful to its surroundings and setting, from the historic buildings to the gardens. It is a "tailor-made piece," as Ravnborg described it, for its specific environment and would have looked radically different in any other setting.

  • Built in furniture designs by Fritz Hansen showcased inside the pavilion | Fritz Hansen Pavilion by Henning Larsen | STIRworld
    Built in furniture designs by Fritz Hansen showcased inside the pavilion Image: Laura Stamer
  • One of the exhibited pieces by Fritz Hansen | Fritz Hansen Pavilion by Henning Larsen | STIRworld
    One of the exhibited pieces by Fritz Hansen Image: Laura Stamer

"We wanted to create a pavilion that reflects the Fritz Hansen design philosophy of design that stands the test of time while at the same time minimising the use of virgin materials. Therefore, the pavilion is crafted from standardised parts that are bolted together using standard tools, which helps to simplify and speed disassembly. All parts can be reused, and the pavilion can also be reassembled in a smaller size if needed," continues Ravnborg.

  • BThe pavilion features furniture designs by Fritz Hansen, celebrating their 150th anniversary | Fritz Hansen Pavilion by Henning Larsen | STIRworld
    The pavilion features furniture designs by Fritz Hansen, celebrating their 150th anniversary Image: Laura Stamer
    The pavilion was designed sans glue, nails or welding, to be mindfully disassembled | Fritz Hansen Pavilion by Henning Larsen | STIRworld
    The pavilion was designed sans glue, nails or welding, to be mindfully disassembled Image: Laura Stamer
  • The Pavilion is designed with a Nordic approach centred around daylight and honest materials | Fritz Hansen Pavilion by Henning Larsen | STIRworld
    The Pavilion is designed with a Nordic approach centred around daylight and honest materials Image: Laura Stamer
  • Black ghulam was used as the main building material | Fritz Hansen Pavilion by Henning Larsen | STIRworld
    Black ghulam was used as the main building material Image: Laura Stamer

“We wanted to celebrate Fritz Hansen’s past, while also looking ahead to the future. Henning Larsen has a strong track record as a leading sustainability-thinking studio. We both have a holistic approach to design, and a similar taste in materials and creative expression, so our collaboration felt natural,” said Christian Andresen, Design & Brand Ambassador at Fritz Hansen, about the collaboration with the Danish architects.

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