Large ARNE JACOBSEN era pOul hEnningsen for LOUIS POULSEN DANISH modern PENDANT LAMP eames panton light, Copper; The PH Artichoke, offered through modern design purveyor Stardust, is considered to be a classical masterpiece. It was designed by Poul Henningsen more than 40 years ago. The consummate modernist chandelier, Poul Henningsen's Artichoke Lamp (1958) is composed of layers of overlapping "leaves," which produce crisp, glare-free light from 360 degrees. Each leaf is laser-cut for precision and is configured by hand. The Artichoke is aptly suited to a dining room, entryway or reception desk. Manufactured in Denmark by Louis Poulsen. The structure is made of twelve steel arches. On this structure PH (Poul Henningsen) placed 72 copper "leaves" in twelve circular rows with six blades in each row. Because each row is staggered from the previous, all 72 leaves are able to "cover for each other". This design allows viewing the fixture from any angle without being able to see the light source located in the center of the PH Artichoke. The original PH Artichokes were developed for a restaurant in Copenhagen called the Langelinie Pavilion, and they are still hanging there today.
Poul Henningsen couldn't really call himself an architect, but he absorbed the popular architectural mantra called "functionalism", being debated in high-level circles of the heavy hitters. Agreeing that it was not enough that something worked, it needed to function most efficiently first, he began his quest to prove his theory when he designed the PH-Lamp in 1925. He justified the unhappy aesthetics by calling it a "simple lamp which used the breakings of light." From this modest beginning he moved forward, determined to find a design that satisfied him in terms of how a lamp could function light under the most favorable of conditions—to his way of thinking—glare free. Experimenting with several arrangements of "louvers" that interrupted the light in the same way that protruding rocks will redirect water in a stream, PH (as he is known) began to see how light itself could be redirected. His artichoke light was the breakthrough he needed to prove his theory that a lamp could reach a high degree of function without causing glare. The PH artichoke light pendant turned out to be a 360-degree glare free luminaire festooned with a number of leaves. By interrupting the light source, to redirect and reflect the light onto the underlying leaves, he manipulated the large pieces of light into smaller pieces which, if taken by themselves would be inadequate, but eventually reassembled allowed adequate lumens to be broadcast without glare.
It was the technological breakthrough that he was looking for. Now he could work on the aesthetics. The first model was a bit awkward and somewhat industrial, but Henningsen kept working the concept until he had an artichoke lamp that worked to his specifications and projected a handsome design. This time the leaves had a graceful look, and as they cascaded down to a gentle taper, he had managed to completely conceal the light source. The design does resemble an artichoke ; however the leaves have a separation that allows the light to flow through and spill down the leaves. A chrome inner diffuser provides further in reflecting the light where it needs to flow. A common incandescent lamp is all that's required to use in the artichoke light, but if the owner prefers a high-powered halogen, xenon, or metal halide for a light source, the artichoke light pendant will easily accommodate the preference. Since its introduction in 1958, the artichoke lamp has become a favorite of modern furnishings enthusiasts and, interestingly enough, the lamp in a proper color will also fit into a more traditional furnishings scheme as well. It is interesting to contemplate how a mind like Henningsen's, that began by working a technical problem, could produce a design that so pleases aesthetic sensitivities.