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Gerrit Veenendaal_ head of production, steelwork and upholstery at Kembo.

Gerrit Veenendaal

The lesser known but highly creative Gerrit Veenendaal (18  March 1920 –  23  February 2007) designed several iconic chairs for Kembo. Furniture factory Kembo stood for "Kom eerst maar bij ons" (Come to us first)," the company that famous furniture maker W.H. Gispen set up with his cousin-in-law Ru Meijer in 1953.

The origin of the Gerrit Veenendaal chair
Our current 'Gerrit Veenendaal chair' is inspired by a 1958 design of Veenendaal, a chair from Kembo's original collection, then available in several variants: a dining chair with or without plastic armrests and a more luxurious low version with a seat made of comfortable polyether.

Check out the collection



See the Gerrit Veenendaal collection for Lensvelt


Who was Gerrit Veenendaal?

Gerrit Veenendaal (1920-2007) completed his education at the technical school, and started a job at the Gazelle bicycle factory in his hometown of Dieren.

On the eve of the German invasion of the Netherlands, he was drafted as a military soldier and fought in the Battle of the Grebbeberg. He married Maartje Vink (1916-2000) in 1944 with whom he had two sons, Eimert and Bert. After the capitulation, he was made a prisoner of war and transported to Neubrandenburg in East Germany to work.

After the war, Gerrit and his brother Henk started a factory in rubber grips for bicycle handlebars. The factory grew into Recticel, a factory that produced polyether and foam rubber for mattresses, furniture and car seats. One of its customers was Kembo, in The Hague.

The Kembo factory moved to Rhenen in an old factory hall of Recticel. After a fire in July 1957, several Recticel employees transferred to Kembo's upholstery department. Including Gerrit: the brother of Recticel director Henk Veenendaal. Gerrit became head of production, steelwork and upholstery at Kembo. The design of the Kembo chair dates from this period.

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Gerrit Veenendaal_ Low armchair 502

Gerrit Veenendaal 102_ dining room chair with armrests

Lensvelt x Kembo
Kembo, founded in 1953 by Ru Meijer and Willem Hendrik Gispen, was acquired by Lensvelt in 2014.

With this acquisition Lensvelt obtained the rights of most Kembo designs. Including those of W.H. Gispen and those of Gerrit Veenendaal.

Lensvelt now has seven classics of the more than 50 chairs designed by W.H. Gispen for Kembo in the collection.

Gerrit Veenendaal's classic designs have been redeveloped and are now added to the Lensvelt collection. The chairs designed by Gerrit Veenendaal are a link to history since Lensvelt embraces the future, the present and the past.

The four chairs that are added to the collection are:

The Gerrit Veenendaal 101: dining room chair without armrests.
The Gerrit Veenendaal 102: dining room chair with armrests.
The Gerrit Veenendaal 501: low chair without armrests.
The Gerrit Veenendaal 502: low chair with armrests.

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The Gerrit Veenendaal 1958_ the original dining room chair with armrests.

The Gerrit Veenendaal 1958_ this is the original low chair from 1958.