Jon Jansen

Jon Jansen was a legendary 1950s furniture store in Auckland's Queens Arcade established by Lincoln Laidlaw.

Laidlaw had been a successful toy manufacturer with an eye on modern design. He saw the opportunity to fulfill demand in New Zealand for the clean lines of Modern style furniture.

In 1951, Jon Jansen opened for business. It imported products but also highly benefited from the skills of two Dutch designers, Edzer Duije (Bob) Roukema and his assistant Jan Knoll.

The store was a resounding triumph. The initial flagship store became a three storey emporium. It attracted a national following, serviced by an additional three stores.

Bob Roukema was a success story himself. He developed his own style which sat comfortably beside top international names. His work found its own popularity with many pieces becoming modernist design icons in their own right.

Unfortunately Jon Jansen's ultimate demise came after 12 years. Increased import controls, the departure of both designers and increased competition put an end to this classic Kiwi store.

References: 1. At Home - A Century of New Zealand Design by Douglas Lloyd-Jenkins

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