The PK25™ was designed by Poul Kjærholm in 1951, for his final graduation project at the School of Applied Arts in Copenhagen. The PK25, also known as the “Element” chair, is a fine example of the young Kjærholm’s eagerness to work with common, industrial materials. Kjærholm was determined to reduce the chair to a single piece of each material, resulting in the overarching hallmark of the chair: The continuous and rather complex steel frame that is bent in a single piece without joints and connections.
Poul Kjaerholm was born in 1929 in Øster Vrå, Denmark. He finished his apprenticeship as a cabinet maker with Grønbech in 1948 and graduated at the School of Arts and Crafts in Copenhagen in 1952 with a.o. the PK 25 chair that is still produced by Fritz Hansen.
Poul Kjaerholm was very articulate and with natural authority he started an outstanding career as an educator in the same year (1952) but continued to study with Prof. Erik Herløw and Prof. Palle Suenson.
From 1955, the year he did the famous PK 22, for which he received the Lunning Award in 1958, he became assistant at the Royal Danish Academy of Arts in Copenhagen and lecturer in 1959. He became head of the Institute for Design in 1973 and finally professor in 1976 until his premature dead in 1980. Over all these years he designed dozens of chairs, long chairs, and tables that became landmarks for Danish furniture design, including the famous PK 24 long chair. Most of his furniture was initially and until 1982 produced by his friend E. Kold Christensen in Hellerup.
A wide selection of that production has been part of the Fritz Hansen collection since.