The Lighting Fixture That Inspired A High-Stakes Heist: The PH Artichoke

The Lighting Fixture That Inspired A High-Stakes Heist: The PH Artichoke

By Alex Ronan
Commissioned for a restaurant in 1958, the PH Artichoke lamp by Poul Henningsen has become a fixture in modern spaces.

When Danish designer Poul Henningsen was commissioned to design a pendant for the Langelinie Pavilion, a Copenhagen restaurant, it took just three months. In 1958, the first PH Artichokes were hung in the restaurant’s large dining rooms.

Produced by Louis Poulson, the light has become a fixture in many museums, concert halls, and homes.

Henningsen had long been concerned with the state of lighting. "When you look into people's homes in the evenings, you shudder at how dismal they look," he once said. With 12 arches and 72 overlying leaves, the bulb is obscured and the fixture casts a soft, warm glow.

The Langelinie Pavilion in 1958 with the newly installed PH Artichokes.

Produced by Louis Poulson, the light has become a fixture in many museums, concert halls, and homes. As for the Langelinie Pavilion, the originals still hang, minus a few. Some years ago there was a break-in. Thieves snuck in, cut the cords and stole the five originals. Thankfully, police were able to track most of them down on eBay. They’ve since been returned.  

A shot of the Langelinie Pavilion today, with original PH Artichoke pendants hanging throughout the restaurant.

A production shot of the PH Artichoke warehouse in Denmark. The pendant comes in white, copper, and stainless steel. A gold version was produced to celebrate the pendant’s 50th anniversary in 2008.

In a light-filled New York loft, a PH Artichoke hangs over the dining table. The low hanging pendant and round rug help delineate a separate dining area within the larger home.

The PH Artichoke adds sculptural detail in the stairway of actor Bryan Cranston's beach house.

The simplicity of the PH Artichoke complements the architectural details of the Ascot Hotel in Copenhagen.

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