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An Aesthetic Revival: The VL Family from Louis Poulsen

“No life without aesthetics” is the design philosophy that drove the life-long work of prolific Danish architect Vilhelm Lauritzen (1894-1984). A functionalist trailblazer in Danish design, Lauritzen created some of Denmark’s most significant buildings, such as Folkets Hus (otherwise known as the Vega concert venue), the first contemporary airport in Kastrup, and the Danish embassy in Washington DC.

When it came to his architectural designs, Lauritzen was always focused on the role of light and what it could do to enhance a room and the items within it. Lauritzen’s strength as an architect was to create harmony between the physical structure of a building, all of the materials used in the space, and the lighting. Being able to find the delicate balance between the function of light and the experience of illumination was a process that Lauritzen mastered.

Daylight was always best, of course, so he tried to incorporate as many south and west-facing windows in his designs as he could. (The quality of light that resulted managed to beautifully highlight a space’s occupants and decor.) Lauritzen designed lighting to create a similar effect, to complement and accentuate the interplay of functional light in space. And, of course, the design of the lamp itself would also help to enhance its surroundings.

One prime example of this is Lauritzen’s VL Radiohus family of lamps, originally created in the 1940s for his iconic Radiohuset building in Copenhagen (and available currently through a partnership between Vilhelm Lauritzen Arkitekter and Louis Poulsen).

The simple and soft, organic form of the VL38 table, floor, and wall lamps lends itself to elegant, timeless interior designs. Brass fittings uphold obliquely angled heads, which house a light source that provides accurate downward light. This reveals the fixture’s functional versatility; it can easily provide either focused task light or soft ambient illumination.

Also used throughout the Radiohuset building was Lauritzen’s VL45 pendant, which has been brought back with its original purpose in mind: to provide bright downward light combined with gentle illumination through three layers of mouth-blown opal glass. Its softly rounded form makes it a worthy member of the VL family. The pendant is presented in two sizes, with an upgraded LED light source.

The purposeful and elegant design of Lauritzen’s VL Radiohus lighting has come back to life, reinvigorated with new technology, while maintaining their classic, beloved form. Be sure to check out the entire VL Radiohus lighting family, plus all the other modern design icons available from Louis Poulsen.


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