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 designs.

Arne Jacobsen photo.jpg
Arne Emil Jacobsen

Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arne_Jacobsen#/media/File:Arne_Jacobsen_photo.jpg 

 

About his life

Arne Emil Jacobsen was born on 11 February 1902 in Copenhagen. He first hoped to become a painter, but would end up being admitted to the Architecture School at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, studying there from 1924 to 1927 under Kay Fisker and Kaj Gottlob, both leading Danish 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. 

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

Image source: https://www.danishdesignstore.com/products/jacobsen-aj11-paris-chair-sika-design

Ant chair 00
First Ant chair 00 with 3 legs on display in Design Museum Denmark. 1952

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/79e6e544-9c7e-4b69-9abf-bb1b740d793e by lglazier618

 

Curves and proportions

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.

– Arne Jacobson

arne jacobsen, aarhus town hall 1937-1942
arne jacobsen, aarhus town hall 1937-1942- The hotel’s curved staircase, a dramatic focal point, was at the edge of what was technically feasible at the time.

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/487effad-73ef-416d-988a-657f37cbb6c2 by seier+seier

arne jacobsen, aarhus town hall 1937-1942
arne jacobsen, aarhus town hall 1937-1942

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/5f1c6d4e-898a-4222-b010-7a5ca350ff8e by seier+seier

He is considered one of the fathers of Danish modern design, as well as having his work recognized as one of the most personal and productive interpretations of Functionalism. Mixing it with Danish traditional aesthetic style, he aimed to create a modern and contemporary style.
Jacobsen is one of the most outstanding Danish architects and industrial designers of the twentieth century, introducing modern architecture to Denmark and contributing to its further development, providing it with versatility and a clear understanding of the functions of design.

arne jacobsen, stellings hus, copenhagen 1934-1937
stellings hus, copenhagen 1934-1937- Arne jacobsen

Image source: https://www.kaufmann-mercantile.com/field-notes/post/6637/arne-jacobsen  by seier+seier

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’d undergo  the influence of the Bauhaus and Functionalism.

arne jacobsen, 23 juli 2005
The Bellavista housing estate ( Bellavista complex) designed by Arne Jacobsen, (1934)

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/165b6d38-9849-4bbf-8f9b-9ec35af91c79 by seier+seier

Arnje Jacobsen Bellevue Teater 2005-02.jpg
Bellevue Teatret, (1936), Copenhagen, Denmark. by Arne Jacobsen

Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bellevue_Teatret#/media/File:Arnje_Jacobsen_Bellevue_Teater_2005-02.jpg

arne jacobsen, 23 juli 2005
Bellevue Beach– One of Arne Jacobsen’s characteristic lifeguard towers, 1930. Copenhagen, Denmark.

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/bc89c8e1-1c25-45ed-afab-881bbae451bf by seier+seier

 

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.

File:SAS Royal Hotel, Copenhagen, 1955-1960.jpg
Royal Hotel, Copenhagen, 1955-1960

Image sourcehttps://search.creativecommons.org/photos/aaf4159b-3505-4f3c-aa4d-01ec0a9de83c by seier+seier

sas royal hotel, central staircase, arne jacobsen 1955-1960
royal hotel, central staircase, arne jacobsen 1955-1960

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/b1b0ede8-610c-45eb-91a5-474269d916e8 by seier+seier

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Swan chairs designed by Arne Jacobsen

Image source:https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/859a5ad4-f769-4b89-8142-6cbb56fc5eee

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 Classics
Egg and Swan chairs designed by Arne Jacobsen

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/d3bc7697-e9ab-4201-82eb-6ebde7d5bd88  by Steve Bellamy

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.

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

 

https://www.scandinaviandesign.com/stelton/400/04_1.jpg
Cylinda Line designs by Arne Jacobsen have been reintroduced during the centenary anniversary season of 2002/2003.

 

https://www.scandinaviandesign.com/stelton/400/08_1.jpg
Cylinda Line designs by Arne Jacobsen

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


Info sources:

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

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

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

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