Design by Nikolaj Blinkenberg Willadsen
Letters from Blinkenberg CPH is a series of handcrafted wooden furnitures based on traditional cabinet maker skills. All designs are inspired by one or several classics. These are often industrial designs where the lines and materials are transformed into traditional wooden craftsmanship with great inspiration in funkis.
Letters from Blinkenberg CPH consist as of October 2021 of:
- X-Chair in four different wood types combined with black or natural flax cords and and optional black or cognac leather cushion
- F-Chair in four different wood types combined with black or natural flax cords and and black or cognac leather seat
- ∏-Stool (Pi-Stool) in matching material to transform the X- and F-Chair into a chaiselounge
- K-Table in matching setup – White Oak, Oiled Oak, Smoked oak and Walnut with beige and black cords
X-Chair Story – The reinterpretation of a classic
Letters from Blinkenberg CPH is an exclusive handmade series of lounge- and living room furniture made of oil treated European Walnut, Oil treated Oak, Stained white Oak or smoked oak – fitted with black org beige flak cords.
Here is what the designer, Nikolaj Blinkenberg Willadsen say about Letters from Blinkenberg CPH
“It all started out with the X-Chair which inspired by Poul Kjærholm’s PK22. I really admire the PK22 for its simplicity, its industrial design, the sharp lines and the combination of the two where a few bends are transformed into an elegant and comfortable lounge chair.
Starting out with an idea of making a distributed design, I wanted to create a design where everyone could download my drawings and a production guides, and for a small fee for the drawings as well as per unit produced, to do the product themselves”.
From DIY to exclusive design and sublime craftsmanship
“I used same principles in the first version of X-Chair, as I used when designing the VIP-WATERFALL. From that a new lounge chair emerged.
I was however so excited about the visual expression of the WATERFALL X-Chair, that I decided to scrap the idea with a distributed design, and instead develop the design further based on my inspirations.
Being the great grandson of Cabinetmaker Søren Willadsen who had a factory that made furniture for some of the greatest Danish Designers and architects, I love the art of good woodwork. Hense my aim for the X-Chair evolved into a quest to combine the simplicity of the lines in the industrial Design of the PK22 with traditional craftsmanship and use of exclusive hard wood, and at the same time develop further on the idea of a ventilated see-through seat and back”.
Further inspirations starting on a subconscious level
“It wasn’t until I finished the first prototype of the X-Chair that I realised that I wasn’t only inspired by the PK22. I suppose that I unknowingly was also inspired by Poul Kjærholm’s graduation project from the Royal Academy of Art – the PK25 as well as the PP106 by Jørgen Høj. I didn’t know the design beforhand, but I have probably seen the PK25 in my youth, and not long ago, I found the PP106 while cleaning up at my fathers attic. He told me it used to be in my nursery.
PK25 is a chair made in one piece set up with stretched cords. The idea with a design made out of a one-piece-metal later inspired me to the table legs and home decor in the WAVE-Series.
In other words, I can see that the subconscious has once again played me a plaster, just like a time where I spend days on drawing a lamp that turned out to be almost similar to Verner Panton’s Moon Lamp. While my UFO Lamp was a 100% unconscious “rib-off”, the question is whether to say the same about my X-Chair?
The usage og hemp cords most certainly is a bit of a subconscious inspiration, but the challenge to myself on making a wooden lounge chair with the straight lines and light look most certainly is very conscious. Poul Kjærholm’s steel frame bears the impression of being grounded in industrial design, my X-Chair is based on proud Danish carpentry traditions that I inherited from my great grandfather.
DIY fans will not be cheated. I am still planning on making a later plywood version with ribs, but not until I’m finish with playing with the basic design of the X-Chair. Hence I will launch a new version with armrest in October 2021. This model goes under the name F-Chair”.
The F-Chair – resting your arms with your hands in your lap
While working on VIP WATERFALL, I became very aware of the need to have armrests on a lounge chair. However, I think that armrests quite often destroy the simplicity in the lines. Therefore the F-chair has also been underway for a very long time before I was satisfied, but I think in the end that I have succeeded really well in making a variation of the X-Chair, where the lines has been retained.
At the same time, recognising that the majority of my clients have opted for a cushion for their X-Chair, I have been working on a fixed seat in this new version. Doing that, another of my sources of inspiration has shaped my work. This time a design by Hans Jørgen Wegner, who has designed the Airport Chair which goes by the name CH401. Here lies some of the inspirations in how the seat on the F-Chair is attached in a new way to the frame, which has meant that the brass screws from the frame on the X-Chair have been obsolete.
Together with a set of armrests, which is designed for a seating position where you sit with a book or a magazine in your lap, it has given life to a new design.
Due to the shape of the “inverted armrests”, I named my new design the F-Chair.
PS! I actually designed a pair of “Clip-on” armrests for VIP WATERFALL, but I was never completely satisfied with the final result.
∏-Stool – footrest or stool. You decide!
When asked about the ∏-Stool (pi-Stool), Nikolaj has the following story:
For some reason I have always fancied a chaiselounge. I think it is because I never really use my sofas to sit in – only when having guest. Otherwise I always lay in my sofas. I guess it’s because I’m a very active person, and when I finally rest, I’d rather lay down.
Although it it doesn’t really show, the ∏-Stool works perfectly as an individual stool. Sit with the high end under the knees and you will find that it supports a very upright position – unless you choose to position yourself as The Ponderer
∏-Stool (pi-Stool), can be stacked – which btw the X-Chair also can
Cleaning and Maintenance of Letters from Blinkenberg CPH
The furnitures in the Letters Series, are all oil-treated with Danish Oil. Simply clean it by wiping it with a damp cloth and vacuum the cords.
If the wood loses its shine or becomes rye-and-dry, it can be re-treated with crude linseed oil and optionally – but only in rare cases – be sanded before oiling with grain 220 or more (220+).
Over time, the cords may become a bit loose. It is irrelevant to daily use, but from an aesthetically viewpoint some would think the cords should be tight. Therefore, the furnitures with braided sections is designed so that it is possible to re-tightening the cords. The cords are strong and stretch-stable with their nylon core, so if they become loose, it is due to tightening in the windings during use.
Please find product specification here:
Tightening the cords on the furnitures in the series; “Letters from Blinkenberg CPH”
The back and seat are braided in one piece starting in the crossbar in the bottom of the seat. From here, the cords are separately clamped, ending at the at the outer point of the back and seat of the chair respectively.
There is a small piece of string under the windings, with an approximately 10cm long piece placed between the cords. This is used for tensioning (see video).
Alternatively, you can simply equalize the tension in the cords in the same way as you do the tightening. The chair is fitted as standard with a slightly softer tension in the back than in the seat and the seat have only one winding in tthe bottom of the seat to make it easier to tighten.