(1912 – 1989)
Known as a modern minimalistic architect and designer, Juhl’s love for curved lines and organic pieces are visible in every design he created. His ideas became profoundly revolutionary for Danish and international design, becoming a pioneer and example of what Mid-Century modern design should represent.
Born January 30 in Copenhagen, Juhl wanted to be an art historian. He spent most of his time visiting the National Gallery of Denmark. His father opposed to it and suggested he should study architecture. During the 1930s, Juhl enrolled at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and studied in the School of Architecture. Shortly before graduating, he worked with architect Vilhelm Lauritzen and designed for him for about ten years. Juhl debuted at the Cabinetmakers’ Guild exhibitions and worked on models for cabinetmaker Niels Vodder. Although he never studied at the School of Furniture, he started the challenge of designing furniture. In 1939 he created the Pelikan Chair produced in 1940, highly criticized by the Danish society, but it marked a successful path for his career.
His collaboration with Viggo Boesen earned him the C.F. Hansen award for young architects. He decided to open his design office in Nyhavn, Copenhagen in 1945. That same year, he designed Bing & Grøndahl store and Svend Schaumann’s florist’s shop in Copenhagen. Being impressed by Juhl’s work, Edgar Kaufmann Jr., the director of the Department of Industrial Design at the MoMA in New York, became a close friend of Juhl.
His designs include his most exclusive chair, Høvdingestolen, and the Trusteeship Council Chamber at the U.N. Headquarters in New York, now contemplated as the masterpiece of his career. He also created a furniture collection for Baker Furniture Inc., furnished the ambassador's residence at the Royal Danish Embassy, Washington D.C., and redesigning the Georg Jensen store on Fifth Avenue in New York.
Juhl is known for his exclusive designs and as one of the leading characters of the mid-20th century and Danish design period and as one of the first characters to introduce Danish Modern to America.