written by:
July 14, 2014
Built in 1942, Finn Juhl’s home remains one of the greatest masterpieces of Danish design.
Finn Juhl's Garden Room with a Blue Chair and Bench

In the garden room, Juhl's 1957 Japanese chair lies next to a sofa table and a built-in bench, designed for the house. The blue upholstery matches Anna Thommsen’s carpet.

Courtesy of 
Hatje Cantz
1 / 7
Finn Juhl's Dining Room and Kitchen

The dining room houses Juhl's Judas table and Egyptian chairs, both from 1949. The abstract paintings hanging above the dining table are by Asger Jorn and Richard Mortensen.

Courtesy of 
Hatje Cantz
2 / 7
Finn Juhl's modernist living room with a Poet sofa

Vilhelm Lundstrom portrait of Juhl’s wife, Hanne Wilhelm Hansen, hangs above Juhl's Poet sofa (1941). The sofa faces one of Juhl's most recognizable designs, the 1949 Chieftain chair. The white brick hearth extends into the room to resemble an area rug.  

Courtesy of 
Hatje Cantz
3 / 7
Finn Juhl's home office with architectural drawings

Architectural ispiration and exhibition posters fill the walls of Juhl's home office. Two chairs of Juhl's design are placed on the side of his desk, designed in 1945. 

Courtesy of 
Hatje Cantz
4 / 7
Finn Juhl's seating area with class midcentury furniture

A collection of Juhl's chair designs can be found in the seating area of the master bedroom; a 1942 prototype chair, Karmstool (1953), three 48 chairs and a two-seat sofa (1948). Poul Henningsen's 1962 chrome plated Contrast lamp 1962 hangs over the table. 

Courtesy of 
Hatje Cantz
5 / 7
Finn Juhl watercolor plan

Juhl painted this watercolor rendering of the house in 1968, more than 25 years after the house was finished. The site plan of the property shows a separate building that was supposed to house Juhl's design studio. The plan was never realized and the bedroom facing west was expanded instead.

Courtesy of 
Hatje Cantz
6 / 7
Finn Juhl and His House cover

A new book by German publisher Hatje Cantz looks back on Finn Juhl's legacy and his home's new role as a public museum. 

Courtesy of 
Hatje Cantz
7 / 7
Finn Juhl's Garden Room with a Blue Chair and Bench

In the garden room, Juhl's 1957 Japanese chair lies next to a sofa table and a built-in bench, designed for the house. The blue upholstery matches Anna Thommsen’s carpet.

Although today relatively obscured by the fame of his peers, Arne Jacobsen and Hans Wegner, Finn Juhl remains a central name in the story of Danish modernism. His chairs still impress with their sculptural, expressive forms (his Pelican chairs, which critics dubbed “tired walruses” when they first came out, look avant-garde even today) and the meticulous craftsmanship required to produce them. Finn Juhl and His House (Hatje Cantz), a new book by Per H. Hansen, reevaluates Juhl’s famous designs—as well as the best exhibition space of the designer’s work, his own home in Ordrup, just outside of Copenhagen. Remarking that “When I build a house, I don’t like someone else to come in and spoil it,” Juhl made sure to design every detail of his home, and he adjusted the details until his death in 1989.

Although Juhl was educated as an architect, he designed only a few houses. He built his own home in 1941, with the inheritance received after his father’s death. He approached the design of his home primarily as a furniture and interior designer, starting from articulating the interiors and reserving the development of the exteriors for the very end. His idea was that furniture created the room, and the room created the facade.

The 2,200-square-foot home is made up of two buildings connected by a low entrance hall. As one of the early examples of open plan houses, the spaces flow into one another organically, and all the rooms open up to the surrounding garden through large windows and doors, making the outside a direct extension of the interior.

Juhl kept the the inside of the house in a constant state of flux. The furniture and the layout changed throughout the years as Juhl developed new designs and incorporated them into the interiors. In the dining room, for instance, Juhl originally employed Windsor chairs, only to replace them with his own designs sometime in the 1940s and finally settle on his Egyptian chairs in 1949. While he mostly utilized furniture he designed with cabinetmaker Niels Vodder, some pieces he designed specifically for the space, like the famous Poet sofa of 1942. “One cannot create happiness with beautiful objects, but one can spoil quite a lot of happiness with bad ones,” said Juhl, as he kept developing his designs, keeping in his home only the ones he was fully satisfied with. 

Juhl’s guiding thought was to foster an interaction between furniture, art, color, and light. Perhaps the best example of his approach can be found in the living room where, above a white Poet chair, hangs Vilhelm Lundstrom’s painting of Juhl’s wife, around a white brick hearth that extends into the room like a rug. The room becomes a medley of light and texture.

Now, as the house has become a part of Ordrupgaard museum, visitors get to experience the effects of this midcentury marvel for themselves.

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

Modern living room with furniture designed by Ludovica + Roberto Palomba
These oases by the sea, many done up in white, make stunning escapes.
February 08, 2016
A Philippe Starck standing lamp and an Eames chaise longue bracket the living room; two Lawrence Weiner prints hang behind a pair of Warren Platner chairs and a table purchased from a River Oaks estate sale; at far left of the room, a partial wall of new
Texas might have a big reputation, but these homes show the variety of shapes and sizes in the Lone Star State.
February 08, 2016
Montigo gas-burning fireplace in spacious living room.
Built atop the foundation of a flood-damaged home, this 3,000-square-foot Maryland home features vibrant furniture placed in front of stunning views of a nearby estuary.
February 08, 2016
Studio addition in Seattle
An architect couple sets out to transform a run-down property.
February 08, 2016
West Elm coffee table, custom Joybird sofa, and matching Jens Risom chairs in living room of Westchester renovation by Khanna Shultz.
Every Monday, @dwell and @designmilk invite fans and experts on Twitter to weigh in on trending topics in design.
February 08, 2016
modern lycabettus penthouse apartment living room vertical oak slats
For the modernists among us, these spare spaces are a dream come true.
February 08, 2016
The square fountain at the courtyard's center is a modern rendition of a very traditional feature in many Middle Eastern homes.
From a large gathering space for family or a tranquil sanctuary, these seven designs feature some very different takes on the ancient idea of a courtyard.
February 08, 2016
stdaluminum 021
Since windows and doors are such important aspects of your home, it’s always a good idea to take the time to evaluate how they fit within the lifestyle you want. Whether you’re in the middle of constructing a new home, or you’re considering replacing your current setup, there are multiple elements to consider when it comes time to make the final decisions. Milgard® Windows & Doors understands how vital these choices are to the well-being of your home and has developed ways to turn the process into a journey that can be just as enjoyable as it is fulfilling. Not sure where to start? We gathered some helpful insights from their team of experts to help us better understand what goes into the process of bringing your vision to life.
February 08, 2016
modern fire resistant green boulder loewen windows south facade triple planed low-e glass
These houses in Broncos Country prove modern design is alive in the Rocky Mountains.
February 08, 2016
french evolution paris daniel rozensztroch living area eames la chaise butterfly chair moroccan berber rug
A tastemaker brings his distinct vision to an industrial loft with a centuries-old pedigree.
February 07, 2016
senses touch products
The haptic impact can’t be underplayed. The tactility of a material—its temperature, its texture­—can make the difference between pleasure and discontent.
February 07, 2016
senses taste products
Ambience is a key ingredient to any meal—materials, textures, and mood all impart a certain flavor.
February 07, 2016
senses smell products
The nose knows: Though fleeting and immaterial, scent is the lifeblood of Proustian memories, both evoking and imprinting visceral associations.
February 06, 2016
design icon josef frank villa beer vienna
Josef Frank: Against Design, which runs through April 2016 at Vienna’s Austrian Museum of Applied Arts/Contemporary Art, is a comprehensive study of the prolific architect, designer, and author.
February 06, 2016
senses sound products
From an alarm to a symphony, audio frequencies hold the power to elicit an emotional call-and-response.
February 06, 2016
Italian Apline home with double-height walls on one facade.
Every week, we highlight one amazing Dwell home that went viral on Pinterest. Follow Dwell's Pinterest account for more daily design inspiration.
February 05, 2016
A built-in sofa with Design Tex upholstery marks the boundary between the two-level addition and the bungalow. Leading up to the master bedroom, a perforated metal staircase, lit from above, casts a Sigmar Polke–like shadow grid on the concrete floor.
From a minimalist Walter Gropius design to a curving sculptural stair, these six stairways run the gamut.
February 05, 2016
distant structure lakeside prefab norway facade stones green roof
Dwell has traveled all over the world, from Tasmania to Indonesia, to report on modern houses.
February 05, 2016
modern lycabettus penthouse apartment master bedroom atrium
Get ready for a weekend of rest with these sleepy, little cocoons.
February 05, 2016
lamp show 99 cent plus gallery 0
At Brooklyn's 99¢ Plus gallery, 30 artists and designers re-imagine the lamp in an illuminating light show.
February 04, 2016
Hidden storage stairwell with raw brass hardware
Having ample space to stow items is a daily struggle—peep these modern homes for some ideas on maximizing your square footage.
February 04, 2016
modern fairhaven beach house blackbutt eucalyptus living room Patricia Urquiola sofa
Whether it's along a coast in Australia or the French Alps, wood provides a natural touch in these interiors.
February 04, 2016
Glass and steel sculpture in Printemps store of Paris.
In the Paris' venerable Printemps department store, two Toronto-based firms were tasked with enlivening a new atrium and creating a unique experience for visitors. YabuPushelberg, partnering with UUfie, designed this stunning steel "sail" embedded with vibrant dichroic glass.
February 04, 2016
Monochromatic Master Bedroom in Copenhagen Townhouse
Whether it's to maximize limited light or create a soothing interior, these five projects go white in a big way.
February 04, 2016
EQ3 Assembly quilt by Kenneth LaVallee
The new Assembly collection from EQ3 celebrates up-and-coming figures in Canadian design. Discover this newly appointed class, which debuted at Toronto's Interior Design Show, here.
February 03, 2016
The Greenhouses of Half Moon Bay
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most viral design and architecture shots of the week.
February 03, 2016
Deck of Australian addition to Edwardian home.
A 1,500-square-foot home in Melbourne welcomes a modern black and white kitchen, dining, and living area.
February 03, 2016
open plan concrete home in japan
Embracing the organic, imperfect material, these raw concrete surfaces are a step up from exposed brick.
February 03, 2016
Renovated DC Row House loft space with Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair.
The classic designer's signature and comfortable forms continue to be popular in homes today.
February 03, 2016
Zinc-roofed cabin France.
An architect builds an energy-efficient home near one of France’s most popular pilgrimage sites.
February 03, 2016