The other week, following a trip to Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair, I also headed to Copenhagen for a quick, whistle-stop stay. I’d already seen the new launches and furniture designs of Danish company Fredericia in Stockholm, but I was keen to check out its brand new rooftop showroom in the heart of central Copenhagen.
Housed at the top of the historic Royal Mail House, a stone’s throw from the city’s famous Rundetaarn, the 1,100 sq m space spreads out across two spacious floors. It’s open from Monday to Friday and by appointment. The vast, loft-style space doubles up as a place to portray the brand’s story and a working office for the company’s growing team. It is a living showroom, with creative workspaces, a gallery for changing exhibitions and space for events.
Fredericia was established in 1911 as Fredericia Stolefabrik (Fredericia Chair Factory) by entrepreneur N. P. Ravnsø. The company was named after the small Danish town of Fredericia, on the eastern edge of the Jutland peninsula, which played host to the Nordic International Furniture Exhibition from 1910 to the Eighties. Employing the most skilled craftsmen, the company became renowned for high quality furniture designs in a variety of styles.
Following the Second World War, material shortages and various financial struggles, the company was acquired by Andreas Graversen. He collaborated with young architect Børge Mogensen to create a range of modern, functional furniture, from Shaker-inspired tables to modernist sofas with removable cushions. One of his best known designs of the time is the 1958 Spanish chair, a solid oak armchair with a saddle leather seat and back (above). Mogensen’s original 2213 sofa, which for many years stood in the designer’s own home, now stands next to the entrance of the showroom.
Today Fredericia collaborates with a carefully chosen circle of international designers and young talent, such as Space Copenhagen, GamFratesi, Jasper Morrison and Welling/Ludvik. In 2011, to celebrate 100 years, it launched the Spine collection by Space Copenhagen, inspired by the traditions of hand upholstering that Fredericia built its name on (below). Its first flagship store opened in 2012 in the up and coming Nørreport neighbourhood of Copenhagen.
You can have a read of Fredericia’s manifesto here – a mission to create furniture built to last, that lives through the ages and becomes even more beautiful with time. The ambition, says owner Thomas Graversen, is always to create contemporary design that is beautifully crafted, relevant and aesthetically intriguing: ‘Simple principles guide us along in our ambition to create and deliver a collection that we believe will be the modern originals of tomorrow. Simple principles that honour outstanding quality through a careful selection of materials, functionality and attention to detail.’
Fredericia’s showroom, itself housed in a converted historical space, portrays how the brand has one foot in the past and the other in the future. It is a brand aware of its heritage and legacy, but conscious of the need to perfect and progress its craft. Fredericia is always a highlight of Stockholm Furniture Fair and northmodern and I can’t wait to share more of its designs shortly!
Fredericia showroom, Løvstræde 1, 4, DK-1152 Copenhagen
Opening hours: Monday – Friday 10:00-16:00
And by appointment
All images my own, except where stated: Fredericia