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Designer Arne Jacobsen portrait
1902-1971

ARNE JACOBSEN

Frontrunner in Danish design and creator of the Egg™, the Swan™ and the SAS Royal Hotel, they were designed for.
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"I don’t see that any buildings should be excluded from the term architecture, as long as they are done properly."
Quote: Arne Jacobsen
Ant chair pictogram
Arne Jacobsen

BIOGRAPHY

Arne Jacobsen was born on February 11, 1902 in Copenhagen. His father, Johan Jacobsen, was a wholesale trader in safety pins and snap fasteners. His mother, Pouline Jacobsen, was trained as a bank clerk and often painted floral motifs in her spare time. The family lived in Claessensgade, Copenhagen in a typical Victorian style home. Maybe that is why Arne, as a child, painted the coloured wallpaper in his room white, as a contrast to his parents’ overly decorated taste.

Background & school relations
At Nærum Boarding School, he met the Lassen brothers; later, Flemming Lassen was to become his partner in a series of architectural projects. Arne Jacobsen was described as a restless pupil, always up to pranks, and often with a self-deprecating humour. Already as a child, he showed an extraordinary talent for drawing and depicting nature through scrupulous studies. Originally, Jacobsen wanted to be painter, but his father felt that architect was a more sensible choice, and that is how it was. Nevertheless, Jacobsen later had ample opportunity to paint and to express his ideas through highly accurate drawings.

The Pleasant and the necessary trips abroad
Jacobsen’s travelling began already in his twenties, when he went to sea. The voyage, the only one in his career as a sailor, went to New York. Then followed an apprenticeship as a bricklayer in Germany and a series of study and drawing excursions to Italy. During this period, Jacobsen produced some of his finest watercolours with classic motifs, where he captures atmospheres and renders materials and shapes accurately and carefully. From the beginning of his career, Jacobsen turned his gaze abroad, without ever abandoning Denmark or the Danish traditions in his field.

Arne Jacobsen behind the design
In summarising Jacobsen as a person, one arrives at a picture that reflects to a high degree the nuances in his purely professional production: On the one hand the insistent, perfectionist modernist, to whom no detail was trivial, although the main picture was basically black/white and unambiguous. On the other hand, the nature-loving botanist and jovial family man. Overall, the professionalism and almost nerdy passion for his work are indispensable aspects in descriptions of Jacobsen - including his own descriptions.

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Series 7 chair Arne Jacobsen coloured ash black
Arne Jacobsen
Series 7™
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3107, chair, coloured ash
from EUR 382.00
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Series 7 chair Arne Jacobsen walnut full lacquered
Arne Jacobsen
Series 7™
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3107, chair, clear lacquer
from EUR 471.00
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Series 7 chair Arne Jacobsen fully upholstered  elegance leather walnut
Arne Jacobsen
Series 7™
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3207, armchair, fully upholstered
from EUR 2,398.00
The Drop chair Arne Jacobsen burgundy lacquered base
Arne Jacobsen
Drop™
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3110, chair, plastic shell, monochrome
from EUR 323.00
Ant chair Arne Jacobsen elm veneer
Arne Jacobsen
Ant™
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3101, chair, clear lacquer
from EUR 474.00
Grand Prix chair Arne Jacobsen Nine Grey coloured ash
Arne Jacobsen
Grand Prix™
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3130, chair, coloured ash
from EUR 382.00
Grand Prix chair Arne Jacobsen clear lacquered oak
Arne Jacobsen
Grand Prix™
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4130, chair, clear lacquer
from EUR 542.00
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Arne Jacobsen
Oxford™ Premium
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3271P, chair, low back, armrests
from EUR 2,170.00
Lily armchair Arne Jacobsen black Elegance leather
Arne Jacobsen
Lily™
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3208, armchair
from EUR 3,427.00
Arne Jacobsen
Swan™
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3320, easy chair, fabric
from EUR 3,407.00
Egg easy chair Arne Jacobsen rustic leather
Arne Jacobsen
Egg™
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3316, lounge chair, leather
from EUR 13,037.00
Arne Jacobsen
Series 3300™
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3302, sofa, 2-seater
from EUR 12,046.00
Arne Jacobsen and Egg chair
1958
THE EGG™
Arne Jacobsen designed the Egg for the lobby and reception areas in the Royal Hotel, in Copenhagen.
Bella Vista housing estate Arne jacobsen
1934
BELLA VISTA
The Bella Vista housing estate was built by Arne Jacobsen from 1931 to 1934. The name Bella vista stemmed from the Bella Vista villa which had previously stood on the site.
Room 606 Hotel SAS Royal
1958
SAS ROYAL HOTEL
The famous room 606
1957
MUNKEGARD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Designed by Arne Jacobsen, 1958

EGG™

A sculptural design with an instant sense of empowerment is found in the forever classic, the Egg™ by Arne Jacobsen.
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Arne Jacobsen

THE MAN

Like a locomotive Arne Jacobsen pushed through the landscape of Danish design and architecture for more than half the past century. The traces are still present, everywhere around us today, more than 30 years after his death: From the architecture that we admire as we rush by, to the objects we use and enjoy every day.

Or consider at a distance as stars on the international design stage. When Jacobsen was not working, he worked nevertheless - only with something else. To him, relaxation meant a shift to another project in the creative realm. This is what enabled such an enormous output with no compromises on quality.

More than ever, Arne Jacobsen’s design is a distinct part of the image that our surroundings and, gradually, we too, have of the core of the Danish design identity.

The best designs have long since passed on to ’The Hall of Famous Objects’, where the reasons and causes behind the design need not be questioned, and where the success story is a case of world-class branding; 20th century icons and timeless, classic elegance. Everything has been said, and everything analysed - or is there still more to be said?

 

The idea as the point of departure: From the complex to the very simple. With a relatively small studio staff, Jacobsen mastered the range from large, complex building projects (like Danmarks Nationalbank) to the teaspoon in his cutlery. Throughout this range lay a consideration of every detail in the total design of the building, which was the invisible force that drove him to his goals. The goal required a huge work effort: The idea may have been strong from the outset, but nevertheless appeared vague to Jacobsen, until he had worked them out and defined the design thoroughly - not without the assistance of close associates.

The distinct accuracy and striking likeness of his drawings with the end-result, especially of many of his watercolours of buildings, reflects his ability to bring ideas to life. Jacobsen originally wanted to be a painter, and this is especially evident in the level of ambition in his presentation drawings.

Lily_Chairs_Danish_National_Bank
1965-1971
THE DANISH NATIONAL BANK
The bank was Arne Jacobsen´s last big project
1934-1935
NOVO NORDISK
The Danish pharmaceudical company´s first buildings
1958-1960
SAS ROYAL HOTEL
Copenhagen´s first high rise building, inspired by the skyscrapers of New York
Arne Jacobsen

FROM BAUHAUS TO INTERNATIONAL MODERNISM

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