Arne Jacobsen (1902-1971)

One of the most influential designers of modern furniture and icon of Danish design style, Arne Jacobsen is remembered for his simple, yet elegant and functional chair design.

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About his life

Arne Emil Jacobsen, was born on 11 February 1902 in Copenhagen. He first hoped to become a painter, but Jacobsen was admitted to the Architecture School at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts from 1924 to 1927. He studied under Kay Fisker and Kaj Gottlob, both leading architects and designers.As early as 1925 the talented architect student was awarded an impressive silver medal for the Paris Chair, which was his very first piece of furniture at the world exhibition in Paris. He was also a successful architect.

info source: http://sika-design.com/designers/arne-jacobsen/

Paris Chair, Arne Jacobsen, 1925
Paris Chair, Arne Jacobsen, 1925

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What are Jacobsen’s style main features ?

Arne Jacobsen is noted for his sense of proportion. Indeed, he himself saw this as one of the main features of his work. In an interview he said; “The proportion is exactly what makes the beautiful ancient Egyptian temples […] and if we look at some of the most admired buildings of the Renaissance and Baroque, we notice that they were all well-proportioned. Here is the basic thing”.

info source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arne_Jacobsen#Style_and_legacy

The hotel's curved staircase, a dramatic focal point, was at the edge of what was technically feasible at the time.
The hotel’s curved staircase, a dramatic focal point, was at the edge of what was technically feasible at the time.

image source: https://www.pamono.com/stories/up-in-the-air

He is considered one of the fathers of Danish modern design. His work is one of the most personal and productive interpretations of Functionalism. Mixing it with Danish traditional aesthetic style, he achieved to create a modern and contemporary style.
Jacobsen is one of the most outstanding Danish architects and industrial designers of the twentieth century. He introduced modern architecture in Denmark and contributed to its further development, providing it with versatility and a clear understanding of the functions of design.

Gas Station by Arne Jacobsen, 1937.
Gas Station by Arne Jacobsen, 1937.

image source: https://www.kaufmann-mercantile.com/field-notes/post/6637/arne-jacobsen

His first works are the reflection of Danish tradition, of the style known as Nordic Neoclassicism, with pure volumes, sloping roofs, brick façades of alternating colours. But soon this Romantic-Nationalist style underwent the influence of the Bauhaus and Functionalism.

info source: http://www.santacole.com/en/disenador/arne-jacobsen

What were his major works?

His most famous project was the Royal Hotel in Copenhagen (1956-1960), for which he designed every detail from textiles and lamps to cutlery and furniture. The AJ lamps, designed for the Royal Hotel and manufactured by Louis Poulsen, are an example of streamlined and elegant design. Also the cutlery designed for the Royal Hotel, and produced by Georg Jensen, represents a stylish design that is still today much praised and be-loved.

Arne Jacobsen, AJ lamps by Louis Poulsen
Arne Jacobsen, AJ lamps by Louis Poulsen
Arne Jacobsen, Swan sofa
Arne Jacobsen, Swan sofa

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Also the famous Egg and Swan chairs were designed for the Royal Hotel, and in particular for its lobby and lounge areas. As often happened with Arne Jacobsen’s designs, they were initially realized for a certain project and later on put into serial production – and the same happened for the AJ lamps, the cutlery and the furniture he designed for the Royal Hotel.

Arne Jacobsen with Egg Chair
Arne Jacobsen with Egg Chair
Brown Egg Chair & Stool by Arne Jacobsen
Brown Egg Chair & Stool by Arne Jacobsen

images source: https://www.pamono.com/stories/up-in-the-air

Arne Jacobsen is well-known also for the Cylinda Line range, designed for Stelton in 1967. Since the very beginning the range has been an undisputed icon of Scandinavian design and today the range is part of numerous permanent collections in design museums all over the world.

info source: https://www.finnishdesignshop.com/Arne_Jacobsen-d-72.html

Cylinda Line range, designed for Stelton, 1967
Cylinda Line range, designed for Stelton, 1967

image source: https://www.scandinaviandesign.com/stelton/0305.htm