Originally designed in 1944 by Vilhelm Lauritzen, back in the day, the majestic VLA61 Monarch chair was produced only 10 times. As you can probably imagine, this made the chair a much-coveted piece for collectors and auction houses. In collaboration with Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects the iconic design piece is now made available by Carl Hansen & Søn to a wider audience for the very first time and I’m so happy I could try out this masterpiece in my own home.
The design of the chair is inspired by the majestic Monarch butterfly, a keen interest of Vilhelm Lauritzen himself, and the reason behind the chair’s name.
The design of the VLA61 Monarch chair
The VLA61 Monarch Chair has generous upholstery, a curved armrest, and teardrop-shaped bars with an organic appearance. The design embodies a light, artistic expression with a high-end appearance at the same time. The small brass feet and hand-polished joints finish the chair off perfectly and are a true testament to Lauritzen’s consistent design signature.
The double-curved armrests and the beautiful organic frame give the chair a clear expression with a supreme level of comfort that embraces you the moment you sit down.
I picked out the chair in a white upholstery fabric paired up with oiled oak, which pairs great with the historic hardwood floor and minimal white furniture pieces in my dining room.
Vilhelm Lauritzen: a pioneer of Danish modernism and a master of details
Vilhelm Lauritzen (1894-1984) was a leading Danish architect whose buildings are cultural monuments nowadays as a testament to his pioneering approach to functionalism. Often called the master of details, Lauritzen created the interiors for all of his buildings with the highest attention to detail including chairs, tables, chandeliers, fixtures and even sockets. He designed the Vega Chair, which I wrote about a few months ago for the Vega Concert Hall for example.
In 1944 he designed the Monarch VLA61 Monarch chair for a building project that was never realised, however, the chair was produced in 10 copies only. An extremely rare and sought-after design piece you can imagine, which is why it’s such great news that the piece is now available to a wider audience.
A form that complements function was an important factor in the design process of Vilhelm Lauritzen, which was driven by his functionalist approach. The VLA61 Monarch Chair is the perfect example of this approach with its double-curved armrests, the organic frame design, and the elegant brass feet that finish this design classic off. When you sit down in this comfortable chair, it feels like an embrace, which speaks to the designers’ emphasis on functionalism.
The handcrafted production process of the VLA61 Monarch Chair
Carl Hansen & Søn teamed up with Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects to re-introduce this carefully considered design piece with a modern perspective on material composition and details.
Hours of passionate craftsmanship go into the production of each chair. It’s a complex and time-consuming production process as many of the parts are curved and even double-curved. All parts are polished by hand several times before assembly, after which the entire piece is hand-polished again to ensure a perfect finish.
The backrest is upholstered after the chair is already assembled to ensure a perfect finish. It’s subtleties like these that contribute to highlighting the sculptural expression of the designers’ masterpiece.
A perfect addition to the Carl Hansen & Søn collection, available in multiple colorways
After the introduction of the Vega Chair and Foyer series, which has been received very well worldwide, Carl Hansen & Søn is pleased to work together with Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects again to introduce another of his masterpieces to a global audience.
The team worked with the designers’ initial sketches, detailed hand drawings, old pictures, and auction descriptions to get as close as possible to the original design while also giving the chair a modern expression with the materials. The VLA61 Monarch Chair comes in 9 variants, all of which pay tribute to this classic design piece.
This blog post was written in collaboration with Carl Hansen, however, all opinions are my own. You can read more about the VLA61 Monarch Chair here.