the new Louis Poulsen showroom - part II

the entrance side from the north and the building from the courtyard


Scaffolding on the new showroom and offices of Luis Poulsen has been taken down although some work is ongoing in the courtyard and on the neighbouring range that faces across to Paper Island.

This new home for Louis Poulsen provides them with design and office space but there are also areas for meetings with commercial customers and architects but, as with the old showrooms on Gammel  Strand, visitors can see the displays of lighting.

The high ground-floor space of this important 18th century warehouse was built to store supplies for the navy and has massive posts and beams. Apparently, it was a warehouse for salt beef so has the timber been painted white from the start? Certainly a coating with a wash of lime would have kept back mould.

In the showroom there are displays and information panels about the designers who have worked with Louis Poulsen including a small exhibition about the designer Poul Henningsen whose large Koglen or Artichoke Lamp was designed in 1958 for the pavilion on the Langelinie promenade so this year is its 60th anniversary.

Koglen / The Artichoke by Poul Henningsen 1958


Koglen / The Artichoke was designed in 1958 for the then newly rebuilt pavilion on the Langelinie promenade.

There are 72 leaves or petals to the light arranged in 12 lines of overlapping leaves or petals of graded size diminishing from top to bottom and angled out and down to control the light and obscure the light source to cut out glare.

With four sizes - of which the largest has a diameter of 840 mm and is 720 mm high with a weight close to 28 kilo - the lights have a dramatic impact - even in the largest space. The original lights had a copper finish although options now include versions painted white or with leaves in polished steel and, to mark the anniversary, there is a numbered edition in brushed brass.

Louis Poulsen

an anniversary ... the PH 5 at 60


The PH 5 light designed by Poul Henningsen was first produced by Louis Poulsen, the Danish lighting company, in 1958. For the anniversary the company has produced the light in new combinations of colours and they have also launched a scaled-down version of the light ... the overall diameter of the original design is 500mm and 267mm high and the new PH 5 MINI has a diameter of 300mm and is 163mm high.

Louis Poulsen

the PH 5 was featured in a post here in November on this site in the series design classic

Above from Louis Poulsen

Louis Poulsen have launched Above … a new pendant light designed by Mads Odgård. 

Made in spun aluminium, the simple but beautifully-proportioned shape is a steep-sided cone that is open at the top and bottom but the line of the side is continued, without a break or change in material, to run up and over the top to form a broad loop - almost like a handle - that holds the flex. 

There are four sizes - the largest with a diameter of 550mm - and the shades are either matt black or matt white and both with a white interior. They form a pool of light below but the narrower beam of light up, and the dramatic under-lighting of the loop, gives a strong sense of a solid sculptural form and a distinct element of drama.

This starkly minimalist design is stunning but it also illustrates really important lessons for other manufacturers … the more minimal the design, the more important the precise line and the proportion of the form becomes and, as with Above, the more that decoration is stripped away and the more that details are simplified, then the quality of production and quality of materials become paramount.

The small version of the light has a diameter of 175mm but there are also options for intermediate sizes at 250mm and 400mm so the design is minimal but the possible effects are infinite from tightly-controlled spot lighting from a small single low-hung light, to lines of lights over a work surface at a uniform height to the most dramatic groupings of lights of different sizes in a group and set at different levels.  

Louis Poulsen

Mads Odgård