Now 90 years old, Danish architect Hans Bølling is a legend in the world of Scandinavian furniture design, having created countless iconic pieces over his decades-long career. But until last year, he had never tackled the ultimate furniture design challenge: a lounge chair. That changed thanks to a collaboration with our sister organization, the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), and the family-owned Danish design company Brdr. Krüger. The result was a new lounge chair along with a stool and coffee table, all crafted from three under-used Real American Hardwood® species chosen for their sustainability, durability, and beauty: red oak, cherry, and maple.
“I am extremely proud to be able to present three new pieces of furniture that I feel represent my work,” Bølling said. “I want to convey pure architectural lines and details in my design, which together create human connections and a breeding ground for joy and good living.” The three items were developed over several years at Bølling’s home north of Copenhagen, refined through sketches and models until the final product was achieved. He launched the mini collection at an exhibition, dubbed “The Home of Hans Bølling,” held at Brdr. Krüger’s flagship store in Copenhagen last June.
The exhibition, which was curated and installed by Danish designer Sara Martinsen, offered a striking glimpse into Bølling’s life and creative process. The show highlighted the strength, character, and versatility of the three renewable American hardwoods, inspiring visitors to consider alternative design materials and consumption habits. While the lounge chair and stool were the main attractions, the coffee table was much admired for the way it drew inspiration from Bølling’s classic Tray Table design from 1963.
For David Venables, European director of AHEC, the project was a match made in heaven, bringing together a “very relevant message” about the need for sustainable timber choices and the legacy of Danish craftsmanship and timber knowhow. Jonas Krüger, creative director and co-owner of Brdr. Krüger, praised the clean, elegant pieces as compelling and user-friendly. “Bølling has a unique eye for the structural and well proportioned,” he noted. “We are pleased to collaborate with AHEC and inspire the use of alternative wood species that are not subject to overconsumption.”