Henning Larsen Architects Pavilion for Fritz Hansen designed for reuse

During the annual 3daysofdesign festival held across Copenhagen, Denmark, from 15-17 June, the Fritz Hansen-designed Pavilion by Henning Larsen Architects was the centerpiece of the weekend, hosting over 15,500 visitors. The pavilion has been organized in Grønnegården Park, Designmuseum Denmark, where it will remain until mid-autumn. The builder showcased furniture produced by Fritz Hansen and famous designers, such as Arne Jacobsen, Cecilie Manz, and Hans J. Werner, as a way to celebrate the company’s 150th anniversary.

(Laura Stammer)

Fritz Hansen collaborated with Henning Larsen Architects to achieve a space that reflects its values ​​of traditional Scandinavian design while also incorporating contemporary features. Knowing this, Henning Larsen Architects designed the 89-by-45-foot suite using natural materials: framed in black-lacquered glue-laminated lumber, and the suite is covered in pine and polycarbonate panels. Its irregular pentagonal shape changes in profile across the length of the building. The entrance and the rear of the structure appear to be sloping through the wood paneling, providing an interesting contrast with the hazy transparency of the polycarbonate panels. Starting as a tall, thin rectangle, the shape rises to a balanced edge before tapering back to a low profile.

wooden shelf with furniture
(Laura Stammer)

In an interview, Marie-Louise Hostbow, creative design director at Fritz Hansen, said the pavilion is a framework that demonstrates “how heritage pieces relate to contemporary pieces.” The pavilion is designed to be assembled and disassembled at other locations for future use. To this end, it uses screw foundations that eliminate the need for concrete pavements. Polycarbonate tiles (made from water bottles) spread natural light throughout the interior, creating a serene environment. These two materials are installed with standard tools to facilitate the assembly of the building. In addition, Troels Dam Madsen, Henning Larsen’s associate design director, said the wood and polycarbonate units were pre-assembled at the factory before arriving in Grønnegården. Henning Larsen used standard widths of polycarbonate to avoid cutting on site, as this slows down the assembly process. The first installation took about two and a half weeks, while Madsen estimated that disassembly is easier: it should take a week or so.

The contrast between quiet traditional styles and a contemporary need for environmental sensitivity is reflected in Fritz Hansen’s exhibition unusual formation. Inside, the pavilion was divided into eight areas; Each offered different furniture styles and functions offered by Fritz Hansen. These spaces included hospitality, dining, work, and relaxation settings filled with signature pieces: the signature living room features the Egg Chair and Swan Chair (designed by Jacobsen), and the AJ Home Work room centered in the office of AJ, Ro, and Fri’s corner showcased a few of these lounge chairs. calligraphy, and the Kjærholm Lounge highlighted the work of designer Pool Kjærholm. During the 3daysofdesign festival, Skagerrak displayed its outdoor furniture outside the pavilion.

The wooden structure inside the pavilion
(Laura Stammer)

While the furniture installation was only on display during the opening weekend, Fritz Hansen’s suite will host creative workshops and lessons for the rest of his time at Grønnegården. It will then be dismantled and rebuilt at Fritz Hansen’s headquarters 20 miles north of Copenhagen in Allerød, Denmark.

The Henning Larsen Pavilion demonstrates that sustainable design is not only about materials, but also assemblies, processes, and life cycles. As can be seen here, the more comprehensive idea of ​​sustainability considers not just how the materials will be used, but how they will be reused.

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