Audo Copenhagen / 2023
The Merkur chair was created on commission to design the new chair for Oslo Stock Exchange. In the occasion of a rehabilitation project to update the interior of the building, We were asked to design a chair that would be placed in the heart of this historical institution.
The chair’s concept is based on traditional principles with solid wood construction and fiddle backrest. A category that has existed in the stock exchange building since the 19th century. Our research led us to explore the possibilities for a modernisation of this archetype.
The Oslo Stock Exchange was established in 1819 and in the anniversary year 2019 it was bought by the pan-European exchange, Euronext.
The building was designed by the Copenhagen-born architect Christian H. Grosch and was completed in 1828. Surrounded by the green park “Børshagen”, the building is well located in central Oslo with the Opera, Central Station and Akershus Fortress as its nearest neighbours.
The building was protected by The Directorate for Cultural Heritage in 1927. Today it is one of the most famous monumental buildings in Norway and the most photographed building by Norwegian media.
Inspired by the historical context and the stock exchange’s prestigious significance, we wanted to design a chair that would effortlessly fit into the building and at the same time add a contemporary feature — a piece of furniture that would stand the test of time.
The name Merkur derives from the god of trade and financial gain in Roman mythology. An important symbol for the stock exchange and depicted as bronze statues both inside and outside the building.
As an important part of the project, our goal was to design a chair that also could have an impact outside the building. Making it relevant and desirable for a larger group of people.
With both traditional and conteporary influences, the Merkur Chair has an allround character that can be adapted to several types of environments.
Key points in the design process was to focus on proportions and size. Shaping softness into individual components that meet in an elegant joinery and creates a well balanced total.
Developed and produced by Audo Copenhagen, the chair is available for the public in two versions — one armchair and one stackable chair without armrests. It can also be partially upholstered in a range of beautiful fabrics and leather to add further comfort.