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Mogens Lassen (1901-1987)

Architect Mogens Lassen (1901-1987) is among the greatest and most influential of Danish architects, a pioneer of Danish Functionalism, and is internationally renowned for his characteristic architecture. Mogens Lassen was inspired by the German design school Bauhaus, and its geometric shapes recur often in his iconic designs.
 


 

Born to become an architect

While still only a child, Mogens Lassen knew that he would one day become an architect. He was born to it. He purchased books about architecture with his pocket money and surveying and sketching buildings was his hobby. 
Since he was dyslexic and funds were limited, Mogens Lassen entered the world of architecture through apprenticeship. However, he closely followed the academic sector and turned his skills to the projects awarded to his friends and colleagues Ole Wanscher, Arne Jacobsen and Hans Bretton-Meyer. Mogens Lassen was asked to join the renowned studio of architect Tyge Hvass, and here he became a highly respected employee.
 
In 1927 Mogens Lassen travelled to Paris and worked for an engineering company. He did not enjoy the work nor understand the French language, and it annoyed him that he could not sketch for architecture but only for practical purposes. For Mogens Lassen, drawing ugly facades was almost painful.        
But Paris shaped Mogens Lassen. He adored the open kitchens found in the city’s restaurants – they were full of life and, for Mogens, the most important room in the house. It was also here in Paris that Mogens Lassen became acquainted with Le Corbusier, who became a source of ongoing inspiration. During his time in Paris, Mogens was honoured with the offer of a place in Le Corbusier’s studio, which he gracefully refused. He was highly self-critical and thought his French was not good enough. 
 
When Mogens Lassen returned to Denmark he opened his own studio, and it was here that he lived his life. Later on he also worked as the exhibition architect for ’Den Permanente’, and was part of the movement that promoted Danish design and made Danish craftsmanship internationally renowned. ’Den Permanente’ became a huge success and an obligatory tourist attraction, but Mogens Lassen never took credit for it. He was a modest man by nature, and not the type who cared about becoming rich and famous. 
He was always sketching – even on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve – and he passed away with a pencil in his hand. He loved to retreat to his workroom, which was more of a cave with small pathways carved out between mountains of papers and objects. It was anything but simple and stringent, but he loved the cave's qualities and the feeling of security it conferred. In fact, he transferred this 'cave' thinking to the houses that he designed, where windows would never face each other directly across the room.

 
In many ways, this was the unifying principle in Mogens’ life: he designed, sketched and built homes for people he knew – or became friends with those he designed, sketched and built homes for. At the time, architects were allowed to decide not only the exterior, but also the interior design. So Mogens Lassen designed kitchens, chairs, tables, sofas – everything necessary to live an entire life inside one of his creations. His talent extended to everything he designed, and today more and more of his furniture pieces come to auction to achieve sky-high hammer prices.
 
Throughout his life, Mogens Lassen was honoured with countless awards and medals, including the C.F. Hansen Medal, Denmark’s highest architectural honour.
 
This is how architect Mogens Lassen (1901-1987) lived his life. And it made him one of the fathers of Functionalism in Denmark, which later brought international fame to Danish and Scandinavian design.



 

The history of Kubus


Mogens Lassen actually worked on the Kubus candlestick for a long time before arriving at the shape we know today in 1962. The Kubus stood unadorned on his desk while he brainstormed its future development.  
Mogens Lassen may have been dyslexic, but his sense of proportion and mathematics were flawless: Each individual Kubus candlestick is made with exactitude and the relationship between the sides calculated with great precision. Absolutely nothing has been left to chance. The collection developed into a mathematical series of candlesticks topped with candleholders. 
 
Mogens Lassen was like a playful child who loved to experiment with new shapes and functions. Throughout his entire life, he kept a small steam engine on his desk which he would activate when his work came to a standstill – and it would generate new ideas and enable him to forge ahead. He was always filled with a fascination for mechanics and the way things worked and fit together. 
 
In 1962 the local craftsmen in Ordrup had completed the very first Kubus 8 candlesticks. The famed furrier family of Birger Christensen had purchased one of them, and they were so pleased with the look of the Kubus that they invited friends to dinner to show it off. Finn Juhl and Mogens Lassen’s daughter and son-in-law were also present that evening. The Kubus 8 was a work of art that had been highly anticipated, and in the middle of the dinner table, the piece was unveiled as an opening night theatre curtain was swept aside. And such was the case with Mogens Lassen’s designs. They were admired as true works of art.
 
The Kubus products were not put into production, but were reserved for the family, for good friends and close architect colleagues. Today, the Kubus candlesticks are made by skilled artisans in Holstebro, and thus represent true Danish craftsmanship.
 
With his sharp sense for contemporary Functionalism, Mogens Lassen designed the iconic Kubus candlesticks. Since that time, Kubus has achieved the status of modern international design icon among architects and design connoisseurs the world over.


 

Kubus is joined by new designs


by Lassen is a Danish design company founded in 2008 by the third and fourth generations of the Lassen family and is today owned by Søren Lassen, the grandson of Mogens Lassen. The company was formed with the aim of bringing the designs of visionary architect Mogens Lassen back into public consciousness. Later the designs of his brother Flemming Lassen, another of Denmark’s great functionalist architects, were added to the collection, followed by those of an internal by Lassen design team.

Our mission is to promote good design, whether historical or contemporary. This is why we regularly comb the archives, drawers and cupboards to source inspiration for furniture and accessories designed by Mogens and Flemming Lassen that may not previously have been put into production. New icons waiting in the wings for their turn in the limelight.

We are honoured to act as the caretakers of such an important legacy and are committed to developing a collection that has complete respect for the original designs. The manufacturing process must convey the same love that went into the creation of the products. We make our very best efforts to stay true to the original vision by finding the correct materials and producing them as locally as possible. In this way, we aim to ensure that exceptional new and rediscovered designs continue to live on through new generations. 

 
 
    




 

Designs by Mogens Lassen

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