The best of Scandinavia In Paris

There can be few better examples of Scandinavia’s devotion to personal well-being than the beautiful simplicity and comfort of its furniture. Emerging in the early 20th century, Scandinavian design flourished from the 1930s onwards to become a global byword
for pure minimalism and functionality.
Always popular in Paris, these northern designs now enjoy a strong presence on both
sides of the Seine.

Left Bank : Copenhagen on the Seine

You just need to look at the success of BoConcept to see how Danish design still holds true to its 20th century pioneering roots. There can therefore be no more fitting starting point for a tour of Scandinavian design in Paris than Dansk Mobelkunst. This gallery specializes in the sort of Danish design that has taken its vision of organic furniture – popular for its shapes and materials – to the very highest levels. Original works by trailblazing designers such as Poul Henningsen, Arne Jacobsen, Verner Panton, Kaare Klint and Alvaar Alto get snapped up instantly and the reproduction business is booming. This gallery, however, doesn’t sell reproductions, only rare pieces, preferably signed first editions. Galerie Triode is the exclusive distributor in France of reproductions of works by Finn Juhl, designer of the iconic Chieftain chair whose shape and materials – leather and wood – are inspired by an Indian chieftain’s horse saddle, shield and bow.

La Boutique Danoise presents a mix of original and bestselling designs by Louis Poulsen, Artek, PP Mobler and Fritz Hansen, manufacturer of the celebrated Series 7 (or Ant) chair by Arne Jacobsen, reissued this year in seven new colors by the Danish artist Tal R. La Boutique Danoise also carries a selection of designs by its neighbors including Finnish firm Iittala, which has marked this year’s centenary of the birth of fellow countryman and star designer Tapio Wirkkala by re-releasing his famous blown-glass bottles in a limited numbered edition of 2015.

For real Finnish flavor you can’t beat the café of the Institut finlandais, Coutume Instituutti. Surrounded by a beautiful Nordic décor – light wood and picture windows – which feels both spacious and private, it’s a great place to savor an organic sandwich or traditional pastry before browsing the “Helsinki sur Mer” exhibition – a visual ode to the Baltic, which has shaped both the city and its inhabitants (until July 31).

Showroom, Triode, Paris, France

Right Bank : a bridge between two centuries

Galerie Eric Philippe, close to the Palais-Royal, is the place to admire a highly specialized selection of Scandinavian designers, including the Swedish furniture wizard Axel Einar Hjorth whose works strike a perfect balance between tradition and modernity. But it’s over in the Haut Marais district, particularly along rue Charlot, that you’ll find the largest concentration of stores. La Galerie Dansk has originals by Arne Jacobsen, Verner Panton, Poul Henningsen, Finn Juhl and Hans Wegner plus a selection of Swedish and Finnish designers. Just down the street, Nordik Market showcases contemporary and vintage furniture picked up in Swedish and Danish second-hand stores, while Galerie Anders Hus celebrates a neglected member of the arts and crafts family – pottery – whose charms are finally returning to favor. Don’t forget to pop into the Gallery Bensimon which represents Swedish designers from Folkform and Danes from Frama Studio in France. For smaller items and flowered wallpaper by Finnish manufacturer Marimekko, try Zone Nordique.

Not far from République, the Colonel store focuses on recent names, such as Muuto, one of the stars of Finnish design in recent years, Hay, which remains loyal to the Danish spirit, and Ferm Living, with its distinctive graphic identity.

If you’re feeling a little hungry by now, an aquavit and marinated salmon on bread at the Café Suédois might be in order, especially when enjoyed in the cobbled courtyard of the 16th century Institut suédois. This cultural centre – the only one opened by Sweden abroad – has a permanent exhibition of paintings, sculptures, books and paper-based works from the 17th to 20th centuries. And La Maison du Danemark is celebrating its sixtieth anniversary with the “People’s furniture” exhibition (until July 19) which tells the story of the FDB (Danish Consumers Cooperative Society) between 1942 and 1967.

Address book
Galerie Eric Philippe. 25, galerie Vérot-Dodat, 1er.
Galerie Dansk. 31, rue Charlot, 3e.
Nordik Market, 13, rue Charlot, 3e.
Gallery S. Bensimon. 111, rue de Turenne,
Institut suédois. 11 rue Payenne, 3e.
Zone Nordique. 24, rue Saint-Paul, 4e.
Coutume Instituutti, Institut finlandais. 60, rue des Ecoles, 5e.
Dansk Mobelkunst. 55 bis, quai des Grands-Augustins, 6e.
Triode design. 28, rue Jacob, 6e.
La Boutique Danoise. 264, boulevard Saint-Germain, 7e.
Espace culturel de la Maison du Danemark. 142, avenue des Champs-Élysées, 8e.
Colonel. 14 avenue Richerand, 10e.
BoConcept Beaugrenelle. 12, rue Linois, 15e.
Iittala Store au Bon Marché, Conran Shop, BHV, Galeries Lafayette Maison et Printemps Haussmann.

Drop. Arne Jacobsen – Fritz Hansen
Papier peint Ferm Living
By Florence Halimi - Published the
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