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Grundtvig's Church – an architectural masterpiece

The iconic brick building in the Bispebjerg district of Copenhagen is a towering example of Nordic minimalism and world-class craftsmanship. This monumental work epitomises the best that Danish cultural heritage has to offer and is tangible proof of the Klint family's unique architectural talents.  

Inspired by magnificent cathedrals elsewhere in Europe, the church was designed by Kaare Klint's father, the architect P.V. Jensen-Klint, who initiated the construction of Grundtvig’s Church, his personal masterpiece, in 1921. At his father’s request, Kaare Klint took over the work of completing the church on his father’s death in 1930, a task that took ten years to accomplish.

Constructed entirely from yellow bricks made from Danish clay, the church emits a unique soft light within its voluminous space. Each of the more than six million hand-made bricks bears clear sanding marks that testify to the meticulous craftsmanship that went into the creation of this awe-inspiring edifice. The final touches to the church were added by architect Esben Klint, Kaare Klint’s son, who codesigned the interior décor, including the organ façade, chandeliers, and choir loft. Moreover, several of Klint's students from the Department of Furniture Design at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art also contributed to the interior. Mogens Koch, Rigmor Andersen and Lis Ahlmann submitted designs for the sacristy, while Børge Mogensen designed a unique long table, essentially the prototype for his later shaker table designs.  

Once Grundtvig’s Church was completed in 1940 after 19 years of work, Kaare Klint decided that the church deserved new chairs. He found customary pews too dominating and sought an airier look. Klint had already designed the sleek Church Chair for the Bethlehem Church in 1936. However, it was not until an updated version with armrests and a wider seat was introduced in Grundtvig’s Church that the Church Chair gained widespread recognition.

Church Chairs still grace the interior of Grundtvig’s Church. Klint garnered inspiration for the design from a broad range of sources. The chair was designed with a distinct nod to American Shaker furniture, Southern European church chairs and traditional English country chairs. With its simple composition of yellow bricks and wooden and wicker chairs, the church is bathed in a very special light, emerging as a masterpiece of Nordic minimalism.

From the Church Chair to the Klint Chair

As a tribute to Kaare Klint, Fredericia is now reintroducing the Church Chair under a new name, The Klint Chair. In close collaboration with the Klint family, the chair has been adapted to the home environment and contemporary proportions of the human body, aligning entirely with Klint’s spirit. The decision to change the name to the Klint Chair emphasises that the design is suitable for more than just the grandeur of an ecclesiastical setting. It is a modern chair with a classic look, ideal for everyday use and providing excellent seating comfort in both private homes and social settings.  

The simple and functional elegance of the chair reflects the Danish design heritage, enhanced by superb carpentry to create a demure masterpiece. 

Lars Klint, an architect and grandson of Kaare Klint, who teaches at the Copenhagen School of Architecture, welcomes the updated chair: "As a family, we are delighted to write a new chapter in the story of Kaare Klint, his designs and his importance to Danish design history. I personally am proud of the Klint Chair, which, with its updated proportions, has become just as light and graceful as I had imagined – without compromising Kaare Klint's design in any way."  

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