Friday, January 25, 2013

Close-up Look: PK91 Folding Stool designed by Poul Kjaerholm

Next in our series on Scandinavian Modern furniture designs, we are exploring the PK91 Folding Stool designed by Poul Kjaerholm.

Poul Kjaerholm is well known for his adaptation of historical furniture types into his own favorite materials and simpler interpretations.  The folding stool dates back to ancient Egypt and was favorite object of furniture design at the Royal Academy where Kjaerholm was an instructor.

Kjaerholm PK91 Folding Stool in Black Leather
Kjaerholm PK91 Folding Stool
The PK91 Folding Stool was designed by Kjaerholm in 1961 and incorporated flat spring steel bars and canvas or leather for the seat.  The long sides of the frames formed the legs of the stool and were twisted like propellers for increased strength.  In a traditional folding stool of the time, the legs were located on either side of the seat to minimize the distance spanned by the wood struts.  But by twisting the legs,  Kjaerholm’s stool could span a wider distance and thus, he rotated the structure 90 degrees so that crossed legs formed the front and the back of the stool.

Kjaerholm PK91 Folding Stool in Black Leather
Propeller Legs of PK91 Folding Stool
Another innovation of this PK91 folding stool was the way it folded flat.  In a typical stool, the identical frames are nested one inside the other, which causes them to be offset when the stool was folded.  Kjaerholm wanted his stool to appear consistent from both sides, folded or unfolded.  The PK91 achieves this because of two design features: First, the points of contact between two frames consists of ball bearings flush joints. Second, the frames are mirrored parallelograms with corners of 88 and 92 degrees.  The proportion of the seat conceals this distortion and creates the appearance of the identical, nested frames.

Our reproduction of the PK91 Folding Stool incorporates all of the elements described above.  In addition, we use 12mm satin-brushed 304 stainless steel for the frame with a 3mm corner radius.  The seat is made with 2mm thick cowhide belting, covered with your choice of black, dark brown or white leather.  The comfort level is superb and you can order one today from our website link: Kjaerholm: PK91 Folding Stool Reproduction .

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