Arctander Philip


The Clam Chair:

Up until recently these chairs have been falsely attributed to the phantom Norweigien designer Martin Olsen. After extensive research, Bruun Rasmussen have discovered that they were in fact designed by the Danish architect Philip Arctander (1916-1994) and were called "Muslinge-Stolen" (Clam Chair). This has been verified by Arctander's old colleague, architect Poul Erik Skriver, finally giving these chairs a solid attribution.

Danish architect Philip Arctander graduated from Kunstakademiets arkitektskole (the school of architecture) in Copenhagen and worked as an independent architect from 1939–47. It was during this early period that he designed the handful of furniture known today to have come from his hand. He then became head of research and subsequently director of the Danish Building Research Institute (SBI), where, among other things, he was an adviser to the United Nations on construction and housing issues.

In an article in “Nyt tidskrift for Kunstindustri” (new periodical on decorative art) in 1944, it was reported that, in connection with its opening, NY FORM A/S had asked six designers to come up with ideas for a furniture competition, one of them Philip Arctander. A later issue of the magazine tells us that all the furniture from the competition was displayed in the store.

This is also evident from the Danish design magazine “LP-nyt” – in which a rare version of the “Clam chair” without armrests appears. The same version is also seen in the Swedish magazine “Form” in 1947, in an article about the home of a Danish engineer. The more common version with armrests and a similar sofa appeared in the Danish magazine “Bygge&Bo” (build and live) from 1945, in an ad for Nordisk Staal & Møbel Central (Nordic Steel & Furniture Central). All of these sources confirm that the “Clam chair” is Danish and designed by Philip Arctander.

Bruun Rasmussen: Philip Arctander's "Clam Chair"


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