Egg Armchair (1958)

Designed by Arne Jacobsen in 1958 for the Radisson SAS hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark, the Egg Chair is a milestone in the evolution of Scandinavian Design. It is manufactured by Fritz Hansen.

Arne Jacobsen photo.jpg
Arne Emil Jacobsen

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

Jacobsen’s work is an important and original contribution both to modernism and to the specific place Denmark and the Scandinavian countries have in the modern movement and continues. Much of what the modern movement stands for, would have been lost and simply forgotten if Scandinavian designers and architects like Arne Jacobsen would not have added that humane element to it. 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”.

København - Designmuseum Danmark
Drop, Egg and Swan chairs designed by Arne Jacobsen for use in the SAS Royal Hotel (pictured in background), 1958-60.

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/2ebc087c-1bfd-485b-a179-370673ec800a by corno.fulgur75

Egg chair
Egg chair

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/3ae93b31-883d-451f-ac82-9f1638268eb3 by TheTurducken

Info source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arne_Jacobsen

Commission

Arne Jacobsen designed both the Egg Chair and the Swan armchair in 1958 for the lobby and lounge area of the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen. Together with the commission to build the hotel building, Jacobsen was also charged with creating the complete interior design including the furnishings and fittings. In addition to the Swan and Egg lounge chairs the project produced numerous other iconic designs – ranging, for example, from textiles and the AJ Floor Lamp onto the futuristic cutlery series. With the SAS Hotel Jacobsen realised in an exemplary fashion his idea of integrate architecture and design – and with the curved Egg chair created the perfect formal contrast to the rigid quadratic lines of the building itself.

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

Info source: https://www.smow.com/en/manufacturers/fritz-hansen/egg.html

Technology

In 1958 the Swan and the Egg chair were a technologically innovatives. A moulded shell of synthetic material on an aluminium star swivel base, with a layer of cold foam covering the shell upholstered in fabric or leather. These two original designer chairs originated in Jacobsen’s own garage in his home in Klampenborg, north of Copenhagen and have been in production at Fritz Hansen ever since.

The shell is polyurethane foam with glass fibre reinforcement. The seat carrier consists of a spindle of diameter 28 mm automate steel and an assembly plate of 5 mm steel sheet.

Arne Jacobsen for Fritz Hansen Egg Chair and Ottoman Distributed by Knoll For Sale
Arne Jacobsen for Fritz Hansen Egg Chair and Ottoman Distributed by Knoll

Image source: https://www.1stdibs.com/furniture/seating/lounge-chairs/arne-jacobsen-fritz-hansen-egg-chair-ottoman-distributed-knoll/id-f_20835852/

The individual parts are welded and surface treated with matt zinc. The base consists of a satin chromed, swivel centre part of welded steel tubing (diameter 38×2 mm) and a 4-star base in injection moulded aluminium. The leg ferrules are in blackgreysynthetic material.

Info source: http://www.themethodcase.com/egg-swan-chair-arne-jacobsen-fritz-hansen/

“Timeless yet relevant in time”

If any sentence was to describe Arne Jacobsen’s masterpiece from 1958 it would be the above. Because what other piece of furniture can maintain the same high quality and evoke the same emotions as it did 60 years ago?

This year we celebrate 60 years of the Egg. With it, Arne Jacobsen became a pioneer in design history. The Egg represented craftsmanship, originality and exclusivity and it still does so.

Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair
Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/2b9cb2ce-5494-4e91-93b8-793901cc4b25 by Karibouski

Info source: https://www.room100.nl/egg-chair-60th-anniversary-in-2018-by-arne-jacobsen/

Data sheet

Designer: Arne Jacobsen

Year: 1958

Manufacturer: Fritz Hansen

Materials:

  • Shell: plastic padded with cold foam
  • Star Base-base: satin polished aluminium
  • Cover: leather or fabric (Hallingdal: 70% pure wool, 30% viscose, Tonus: 90% worsted wool, 10% Helanca, Divina: 100% wool)

Dimensions: 108 x 95.3 x 86.4 cm

Info source: https://www.moma.org/collection/works/167006