In 1958, Poul Henningsen designed the PH Artichoke for the Langelinie Pavilion, a modernist Copenhagen restaurant, in which the PH Artichoke continues to enchant guests to this day, where the pendant is regarded as an international design icon.
The distinctive shape and design of the pendant ensures a completely glare-free light no matter from which angle it is viewed. This is due to the 72 carefully placed leaves that have also inspired the name of the pendant. Today, the PH Artichoke is still partly assembled by hand to ensure high quality. And yes it is true that it takes up a lot of space. However, the quality of light and the sheer elegance is truly unparalleled.
Poul Henningsen was born in Copenhagen by the famous Danish actress Agnes Henningsen. He never graduated as an architect, but studied at The Technical School at Frederiksberg, Denmark from 1911-14, and then at Technical College in Copenhagen from 1914-17.
He started practicing traditional functionalistic architecture, but over the years his professional interests changed to focus mainly on lighting which is what he is most famous for. He also expanded his field of occupation into areas of writing, becoming a journalist and an author. For a short period at the beginning of WWII, he was the head architect of the Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen. But like many other creative people, he was forced to flee Denmark during the German occupation but soon became a vital part of the Danish colony of artists living in Sweden.
His lifelong collaboration with Louis Poulsen began in 1925 and lasted until his death. To this day, Louis Poulsen still benefits from his genius. Poul Henningsen was also the first editor of the company magazine “NYT”. The CEO of Louis Poulsen at the time, Sophus Kaastrup-Olsen, gave the magazine to PH as a gift because he had been terminated from the Danish newspaper he worked for (his opinions were too radical).
Poul Henningsen's pioneering work concerning the relations between light structures, shadows, glare, and color reproduction—compared to man’s need for light remains the fondation of the lighting theories still practiced by Louis Poulsen.