The biography of Axel Larsson

October 1, 2023

The biography of Axel Larsson

Axel Larsson worked for 30 years as a furniture designer for Swedish manufacturer Svenska Möbelfabrikerna i Bodafors. As an interior architect Larsson worked on a.o. the Gothenburg concert hall and for the UN building in New York.

Axel Larsson got as a young carpenter apprentice in the Swedish county of Medelpad a scholarship which allowed him to study at Tekniska skolan (today Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts and Design) in Stockholm and did an internship as a draftsman at the studio of Carl Malmsten from 1916-20. During the 1920’s Larsson went on study travels around Europe and visited a.o. the Paris exhibition in 1925.

Back in Stockholm the same year, Larsson began working for Svenska Möbelfabrikerna i Bodafors’ office, for which he made his debut as a furniture designer with a collection of “rational everyday furniture” at the Stockholm Exhibition in 1930. One of the pieces were a chair made of dark stained birch wood and a checked seat and back which Larsson designed in 1928 and came to become one of Möbelfabrikerna's most sold standard and serial manufactured furniture. The furniture presented at the Stockholm Exhibition were seen by Estrid Ericsson who later sold them at Svenskt Tenn.

In 1936 Larsson designed chairs with a bent seat curve for Bodafors called the 1200 collection, of these the recliner No. 1207 is the most well-known. For Bodafors, Larsson also got several major interior commissions, such as the Concert hall in Gothenburg 1936 where he worked together with architect Nils Einar Eriksson on the furniture design. Larsson and Eriksson also worked on the Hotel Park Avenue in the same city (1950) and the insurance company Folksam’s office in Stockholm (1960). In the 30’s and 50’s Larsson also worked in the interior for the Swedish America Line’s ship Kungsholm and Stockholm. He also designed the secretary general’s office at the UN building in New York.

While working on the Folksam house in Stockholm, Larsson left Bodafors in 1956 to create his own design studio but continued to design for them as well as for the company Baltzar Beskow, for whom he designed the chair S-312 in 1960 that was bought in 1 200 copies to the Westminster Cathedral in London during the 1980’s. For Verkstad AB Lindqvist, Larsson designed the stackable steel pipe chair Bankett in 1961 that became one of the company’s bestsellers. Axel Larsson passed away at the age of 77.

Read more about Axel Larsson here.

Designer of the month
Mats Theselius

Mats Theselius has designed iconic, limited edition armchairs for a.o. Källemo since the mid 1980’s. His designs are sought after on the vintage market and are represented at a.o. the Museum of Furniture Studies in Stockholm.

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