The idea of making a chair based on the most simple and elegant shape of them all, the circle, remained a distant dream until Hans J. Wegner eventually completed the design at the age of 72. This bright sparkle, this tickling thought, matured over a lifetime and became one of his most visionary projects, posing great challenges for PP Møblerâ€™s workshop as its construction would push the limits of the possible.
Consequently the Circle Chair turned out to be one of Wegnerâ€™s most characteristic designs and it still offers great comfort and flexibility. One of the many appealing features of the Circle Chair is the fact that despite the size and comfort it is light and transparent, very practical and easy to move around.
The Circle Chair definitely elevates Wegner into the exclusive league of artists who performed consistently at a very high level throughout a long life.
Son of a shoe-maker in southern Jutland, Hans Wegner, finished his formal training as a cabinetmaker with master cabinetmaker Stahlberg in 1930 before starting at Teknologisk Institut in Copenhagen. He soon moved to the School of Arts and Crafts in the Danish capital where he became architect in 1938, and started teaching in 1946.
In 1940 he joined Arne Jacobsen and Erik Møller in Arhus, to design the furniture for the new Arhus city hall. He started to work with 'minister' cabinetmaker Johannes Hansen in 1940 and showed his first furniture in the famous Hansen store on Bredgade 65 in 1941. Johannes Hansen was more than twice as old as the 26 year old Wegner but the unique collaboration between the two became the undisputed backbone of Danish furniture design and the main reason for it's world wide recognition in the fifties and sixties. The Copenhagen Museum of Art and Industry acquired the first Wegner chair in 1942.
In 1943 he started his own design office and 1 year later designed the first of a long series of 'chinese' chairs inspired by portraits of Danish merchants sitting in Ming chairs for Fritz Hansen. In 1950 Wegner designed the “Wishbone Chair” produced by Carl Hansen & Søn in Odense which became the most successful of all Wegner chairs. Most well known for it’s use by Kennedy and Nixon in their famous CBS TV debate of 1960.