Design Icon: Fjordfiesta Scandia Chairs
Designed by Norwegian architect and designer Hans Brattrud in 1957, the Scandia Chairs are an internationally recognised collection of mid-century designs.
With an unusual form that is strikingly beautiful, these chairs have earned themselves iconic status within the furniture world.
It’s not often you find a chair that looks as good half a century on as it did on the day it was designed. Somehow managing to combine tradition and modernity, the Scandia chairs are thoroughly timeless pieces of design.
Deceptively comfortable, the shell of these chairs has been moulded to the human form and has inherent flexibility – with the wooden slats bending naturally when leaned against. Constructed from strips of laminated oak, the innovative profile of these chairs was quite a challenge to achieve when they were first imagined. Let us tell you the story of an iconic design…
Making the impossible, possible
The year was 1957, and as part of his final class project at the National College of Art and Design in Oslo – Hans Brattrud had a pioneering idea. Combining vertical strips of laminated wood to a pliable wireframe allowed for a stackable chair that was moulded to the human form – creating a distinctive, comfortable and practical design.
However, this unique shape wasn’t the easiest to construct. In an interview with Wallpaper magazine in 2010, Brattrud explained the difficulties involved…
“The chairs are made with 1mm-thick laminates, and the glued joints need to be hardened to ensure long life. When I first thought of the design in 1955-56, the fastest-hardening glue had a setting time of about three hours. This would not have allowed production on an industrial scale but, at a trade fair in Germany in 1958, I saw that hardening could be done by high-frequency electricity. I immediately realised that this technique would be useful in the production of my Scandia chairs. A clued-up producer bought a generator and we were away!”
Now one of the most common furniture production techniques in the world, this high-frequency lamination was an experimental technique at the time – helping to make what seemed like an impossible idea, possible.
By 1961, the Scandia chairs were being officially manufactured and begun to win a flurry of awards. In 1967, the stackable design was awarded the gold medal at the International Arts and Crafts Fair in Munich and the awards keep coming… also earning a gold medal from the Bavarian state government and a gold medal from the Norwegian Design Council over the years.
Unfortunately, production soon came to a halt after Brattrud shifted his focus to Architecture - but this was a design that couldn’t be forgotten. One of Norway’s most enduring design classics, vintage Scandia chairs frequently sell for high amounts on the vintage furniture market and in 2001, with the approval of Brattrud himself, Fjordfiesta bought this design icon back into production.
The reintroduction of a classic
Fjordfiesta aims to create furniture that will last for generations to come. Nestled within Norway’s beautiful fjord’s, this is a company that is dedicated to promoting their countries design heritage – with the first mission being to bring back Hans Brattud’s beloved Scandia series.
This small company have a dedicated team of craftspeople who lovingly handcraft every piece of furniture. Based on the shore of the Dokka River, Fjordfiesta’s factory has been producing quality furniture for over 65 years – combining high tech industrial production and delicate carpentry to craft beautiful designs with longevity.
Since its reintroduction, the Scandia chair range has been expanded to include a high-backed dining chair, a lounge chair, a barstool and even the option of a swivel base. Each design is available in both a natural oak and painted finish – allowing you to match the design perfectly to your space.