07 April 2021

Fredericia notches up 110 years

Its creative credo rests on the quest for extremely high quality. Right from the off. From 1911, in fact, when it started life as a chair factory, Fredericia Stolefabrik, taking its name from the historic Danish industrial town in Jutland, where a leading furnishing fair had been held from the previous year until 1983. With N.P. Ravnsø at the helm, followed by his heirs, all sticking to the patriarch’s diktat: a love for precision and the perfecting of craftsman skills. One page of the 1924 catalogue states incisively: “Only fine craftsmanship will provide you with the longevity that you wish for.” In 1955, the new owner and CEO of the company Andreas Graversen, who stayed in the role for 40 years, carried forward the credo: “It is of great importance that the things we purchase and live with do not need to be changed, but instead grow old with dignity and charm.”

That longevity has endured thus far. That savoir-faire has shaped products that embody the purity, simplicity and timeless appeal of the Scandinavian look. In a balanced mix of classic and contemporary, resulting in furnishing and accessories that cater to every sort and kind of interior solution. Fredericia, as the company is now known, does not just stand out for its tremendous manufacturing skill, but also for its contribution to what has become modern Danish furnishing. In 1955, Børge Mogensen, one of the fathers of Danish design, was invited to head up the design department, redefining the visual language of the products with his ethical approach, a perfect balance of durable quality, rational production, natural materials and human empathy. 1955 marked the launch of the first sofa signed by Mogensen, Model 201, which was re-edited under the name No. 1 Sofa in 2014 to celebrate the centenary of its designer’s birth and remains a best-seller, as is 2213, designed in 1962 for his own home and the cornerstone of the Select Collection, a must-have in directors’ offices and homes belonging to a certain social class. The professional and creative partnership between Graversen and Mogensen, which subsequently became a close friendship, was rewarded in 1971 with the Danish Furniture Prize.

Thomas Graversen, who took over from his father Andreas, has continued to uphold the high profile of the company, entrusting the design department to the skilful hands of the “queen of Danish design” Nanna Ditzel, who – until her death in 2005 – lent a creative and sophisticated touch to the products, bringing international visibility to the company and netting numerous awards. Other renowned designers, who shared a passion for simple, functional and timeless design, have worked with the company, including design masters Hans J. Wegner and Jens Risom, as well as contemporary designers such as Shin Azumi, Alfredo Häberli, Space Copenhagen, Gamfratesi and Jasper Morrison, amongst others.

The company is a constantly evolving industrial player. The Complements collection was launched last September, and is a range of extremely high quality material-driven pieces. They are functional but very good-looking and decorative collectors’ items to cheer up our daily lives and be passed down to the next generations. Also in Autumn 2020, the company acquired the historic Erik Jørgensen Møbelfabrik, sharing its passion for design and traditional craftsmanship, as well as the desire to create sustainable, durable furnishings. The acquisition enabled Fredericia to complete its portfolio of excellent classic and modern pieces, including the Ox and Corona chairs, by Hans J. Wegner and Poul M. Volther respectively, the Delphi sofa by Hannes Wettstein and the EJ 220 sofa by Jørgensen himself.

Celebrating 110 years in the name of authentic, useful and sustainable design. Responding to the needs of a contemporary public.

#Fredericia, #design, #Børge Mogensen, #Hans J. Wegner, #Shin & Tomoko Azumi, #GamFratesi, #Alfredo Häberli, #Jasper Morrison, #Denmark