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Design classics: The PH Artichoke light fitting

June 1, 2011

The PH Artichoke pendant from Louis Poulson was designed over 40 years ago in 1958, and as it is still specified for interiors throughout the world it is a welcome addition to our design classics series.

 

The light fitting was designed by Poul Henningsen for a restaurant in Copenhagen called the Langelinie Pavillonen and it is still used in the restaurant today.  The fittings sit in the restaurant among Arne Jacobsen chairs, Børge Mogensen sofas and amazing glass mosaics by Else Alfelt.

The structure is made of twelve steel arches, onto which Poul Henningsen placed 72 copper leaves in twelve circular rows with six blades in each row.  This formation ensures that the light fitting can be viewed from any angle without seeing the light source located in the middle of the fitting.

The designer Poul Henningsen was born in Copenhagen and was the son of the Danish actress Agnes Henningsen.  He studied architecture but he didn’t actually graduate, and although he still began his career as an architect he soon focussed on lighting.  For a short period he was the head architect of the Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen.  He started working with Louis Poulsen in 1925 and the association lasted until his death.

The original fitting is available in copper, wet painted white or brushed stainless steel and in three different sizes.  A glass option, shown below, is also available.  The fitting is mounted to the ceiling by stainless steel aircraft cables, this ensures the safe installation of the heavy fitting.

The simple design of this product and the creative way you can never see the light source means the PH Artichoke thoroughly deserves its place in our Design classics series.

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