Claus Bonderup

Claus Bonderup

Born: 1943

Claus Bonderup was still a student of architecture at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, in 1969, when together with fellow student Torsten Thorup, he designed the iconic Semi light. The light was put into production by Fog & Mørup and went on to be one of the company’s best-selling lights. It stayed in production throughout the remaining years of Fog & Mørup’s existence and beyond.

The partnership between Claus Bonderup and Torsten Thorup, lasted until 1992. In collaboration with various lighting companies, they worked out several lighting fixtures, which were popular by their simplicity, based on simple geometric shapes, ball slices and isosceles triangles. They were the first to discover the opportunities that lay in working with low voltage fixtures.

After graduating at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, in 1969, Claus Bonderup worked about a year at Henning Larsen Architects in Copenhagen. Afterwards, he took a few years abroad, where he designed underground nightclubs in the Amazon, in Brazil (1970-71), and worked at internationally renowned architect partners, Florian Vischer & Georges Weber, in Basel (1971-1973).

In 1973, he sought back to his old mentor, Architect Jacob Blegvad in Aalborg, where he was assigned as chief architect until 1985. He had throughout his career, experimented with space, its size and the volume generated by pure geometry.

Among the architectural works that have secured him international fame, the following can be found: Rovaniemi (a Finnish polar center, that lights polar night up) planned fishing on the Aleutian Islands off Canada’s west coast, design of 100 permanent residences on a Spanish hilltop, a hotel project for Royal Copenhagen Japan and Design of an apartment building in the old town of Alexandria in Egypt.

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Semi Maxi by Claus Bonderup for Fog & Mørup 1968
Semi Mini by Claus Bonderup for Fog & Mørup 1968