Arne Jacobsen - Architect and Designer
Arne Jacobsen was born in 1902 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The trained stonemason studied architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen and subsequently worked on several construction and architectural projects, such as the Bellavista settlement in Klampenborg. Later Arne Jacobsen taught at the Copenhagen Art Academy and received several honorary doctorates from various academies abroad. Arne Jacobsen was the most important designer in Denmark in the last century.
For the Danes it is still a symbol of their country. Jacobsen was active both nationally and internationally, and was particularly famous for the design of chairs and armchairs. In Germany Jacobsen designed buildings in Hamburg, Berlin, Hanover, Mainz and other cities.
"Make it simple" - Design in perfection
Nature was Jacobsen's source of inspiration, "Make it simple" was his motto, which was influenced by Protestant ethics. In Denmark there is neither steel nor marble; Arne Jacobsen had the ability to get along with the materials nature offered him. Actually, he wanted to become a painter and draughtsman; the profession of architect was originally a compromise for more material security.
Architecture and nature by Arne Jacobsen
The straight lines of the architecture of the simple and functional houses of the Bellavista housing estate in Klampenborg blend perfectly with nature. Horizontal lines emphasise the harmony between landscape and sea. Jacobsen built without frills and decorations, taking into account the demands of modern life. All Danes should have the privilege to look at the sea, was the maxim of Jacobsen's settlement. The architect and designer wanted affordable design for everyone. In 1965 he built the Danish National Bank, which spreads an incredible sense of space in the 20 metre high lobby, whose austerity of architecture is softened only by its colours and design details.
SAS Royal Hotel as a work of art by Arne Jacobsen
The construction and design of the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen, for which Jacobsen designed the famous Egg Chair, is also outstanding. The building, now called Radisson Collection Hotel Royal Copenhagen, is a five-star hotel with 261 rooms and was commissioned by the Scandinavian airline SAS. The house is 20-storey, the interior was planned down to the last detail - armchair, chair, sofa lamps, furniture, panelling and even the cutlery. The Egg Chair is a rather organic composition, an eccentric among the otherwise linear armchairs, and looks like a sculpture in space. In addition to the Egg Chair, Jacobsen designed many pieces of furniture for the hotel, including the "Drop" and "Swan" chairs and the 3300 sofa series, which captivates with its straight lines. The Drop chair is space-saving but offers perfect seating comfort thanks to its mobility. Today, the Swan armchair is considered a highly traded classic with curves in a futuristic style.
In 1960 Jacobsen took the large spiral staircase from the foyer to the first floor to the limits of technical feasibility with the staircase attached to 14 wire ropes. In order to accentuate this masterpiece, special lighting was even installed. The hotel was the first and only skyscraper in Copenhagen until 1969; it was a total work of art and was even intended to function as a terminal for passengers.
That the SAS was planned by designer Arne Jacobsen as a valuable overall concept was unfortunately not appreciated by all subsequent managers. In 2018, the hotel was meticulously renovated and modernised - niches were also created for working on laptops. The drop chairs in the lobby invite you to sit and relax. In the restaurant you can find other designs, pieces of furniture as cellar finds, such as the Mayor sofa (jagged, box-shaped and high-legged with elegant backrest) or the Giraffe chair (sculptural armchair).
Design in cooperation with Republic of Fritz Hansen - Chair and Armchair
The cooperation with Fritz Hansen began in 1934. At the beginning of the 50's the company celebrated great success with the Arne Jacobsen designs of the "Ant Chair" and the 3107 series. The Ant Chair was originally designed for the canteen of the pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk and is now considered a modern design classic. Jacobsen's buildings reflect his perfectionism, are modern and functional. In his work as a designer, on the other hand, organic forms were introduced. Many of his chairs and armchairs became very popular: "The Ant", "The Egg" (Egg Chair), "The Swan" (Swan Chair) or the "Series 7" chairs - the best-selling chair in the world to date. The company Republic of Fritz Hansen still produces these beautifully designed and practical furniture today.
Awards given to Arne Jacobsen
Jacobsen's creations are characterized by a clear formal language and can be classified as functionalism. Arne Jacobsen was regarded as a perfectionist, a quality reflected in his works and furniture. His work was influenced by design greats such as Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe. Jacobsen was awarded numerous prizes during his career. These include honorary doctorates in Oxford (1966) and Glasgow (1968), the Fritz Schumacher Prize, the honorary medal of the Academic Architects' Association and others.