Holding their Own

WILLY GUHL’S EXTRAORDINARY MID-CENTURY PLANTERS

Made from fibre cement Willy Guhl’s planters are so darn stylish that they wouldn’t look at all out of place inside your home.

Willy Guhl (1915-2004) was a pioneering Swiss furniture designer and one of the first industrial designers in Switzerland. He made his mark through unconventional experimentation with new materials, concise and timeless designs, and an immense technical understanding.

Guhl initially trained as a carpenter before going on to study at the Zurich School of Applied Arts, and in 1939 opened his own cabinetmaking workshop. He later went back to teach at the school for 39 years - with many of his former students becoming leading designers in their own right, including Robert Haussmann, Kurt Thut and Bruno Rey.

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Planter known as ‘Mouchoir’ (tissue) c.1950 .   expertissim.com

Planter known as ‘Mouchoir’ (tissue) c.1950. expertissim.com

Elephant’s Ear’ planter - Guhl’s first planter produced for Eternit. This is the biggest model with striking patina. Price: 850 euros.  objekt-vintage.nl

Elephant’s Ear’ planter - Guhl’s first planter produced for Eternit. This is the biggest model with striking patina.
Price: 850 euros. objekt-vintage.nl

Lovely pot-belly Cauldron planters. Price: £295 each  cotswoldgrey.com

Lovely pot-belly Cauldron planters. Price: £295 each cotswoldgrey.com

Woo Gilchrist