Poul Henningsen, often known in Denmark by his initials, PH, was Tivoli's head architect for many years, and left his distinctive mark on the Gardens. This story is told along with that of the lamp that became a national treasure – in an exhibition that became a partnership between Tivoli and Louis Poulsen.
PH 4/3, PH 5 and PH Artichoke are iconic designs that will be instantly recognisable to many, and are found in many Danish homes and public institutions. PH was Tivoli's head architect in the 1940s. The Glass Hall Theatre, the small fountains in the Parterre Garden and the spiral lamps by the Lake are examples of our heritage from PH, but the greatest influence he had on the Gardens is found in the development plan he created in conjunction with Garden architect G. N. Brandt in 1945. PH was also succeeded as head architect by his son, Simon Henningsen, who continued his father's ideas in many ways.
Poul Henningsen, who was born in 1894 and died in 1967, designed lamps based on his desire to create a soft, friendly light that did not produce glare. He may have been inspired by the vanity of his mother, the writer Agnes Henningsen, who did not like the sharp, revealing electric light that was new in those days. Since the PH lamp was first presented in Paris in 1925 – winning the gold medal at the exhibition – it has enjoyed global success, with the line still being expanded to include more and more models. Nearly a century after the lamp was introduced, the retro trend has ensured a place for the design in contemporary interior design.
Historic lamps in a relaxed environment
The exhibition "Poul Henningsen in Tivoli" focuses on PH's lamps and his work as head architect in Tivoli. Louis Poulsen, the company that has produced the PH lamps since 1925, has made over 20 historic lamps available for the exhibition, which also shows how PH's designs and ideas can still be enjoyed in Tivoli today. The exhibition is an immersive experience in the Woodhouse café, and a good children's activity has also been incorporated.
"PH had an enormous influence on Danish cultural life," says Dorthe Wienkouff Barsøe, Tivoli's Vice President for Brand & Communications. "We still sing his songs, and we discuss the pros and cons of his views on society. With this exhibition in Tivoli, we are focusing on the architect and designer, because here, in the heart of Tivoli, we have an opportunity to show and highlight matters and details that may not be widely known." She adds: "We wanted to present an exhibition that speaks to both design nerds and the casually curious, and which can also be experienced on the go as part of a visit to Tivoli. Relaxed, just as PH would have wanted it."
The 125th anniversary of PH's birth will be marked by other events in Tivoli during the year, including at the Pantomime Theatre.
The exhibition opens on 1 February and can be enjoyed during Tivoli's opening hours. Woodhouse is situated in the centre of Tivoli next to the large fountain. The exhibition is included in the price of admission to Tivoli.
Media contact for Louis Poulsen: Sidse Morgentahler Møller, firstname.lastname@example.org or +45 5219 6137
Media contact for Tivoli: Ellen Dahl, email@example.com or +45 2272 5600