Arne Jacobsen was born in Denmark in 1902 and worked his adult life as an architect, furniture & product designer. His buildings and particularly his product and furniture designs are some of the most timeless and iconic in these fields.
In the late 1950’s Jacobsen completed his most demanding project, the Royal Hotel in Copenhagen, for the Danish airline SAS. He had total control designing not only the building itself but everything associated with it down to the smallest of details, the door handles, wine glasses, curtains and even teaspoons. His most well know armchairs, the Egg and Swan, were also designed for this project.
The ‘Series 7’ or ‘Butterfly’ chair, designed in 1955, is one of the most successful chair programs ever to be put into production and unfortunately also one of the most copied. Ironically in one of the most well know images of the chair a naked Christine Keeler is draped over a fake, not a Fritz Hansen original.
Jacobsen’s product design is by no means in the shadow of his furniture pieces. The Cylinda Line tableware range, designed for and still manufactured by Stelton won the ID Prize in the year of its conception, 1967. Today it remains high on the wish list of anyone who takes their design seriously. In 2010 none other than our very own Paul Smith was asked to add his mark to the collection. The shape is so iconic he decided to add only a bold vibrant palette as homage to the great man.
The Jacobsen cutlery designed for Georg Jensen in 1957 will be known well to anyone who studied at St Catherine’s College, Oxford, the only building he designed in the UK. It was deemed so futuristic in its styling that Stanley Kubrick demanded it be used in his film epic, 2001: A Space Odyssey. Even today it stands out from the crowd as something that little bit special.
Jacobsen died in 1971 leaving a legacy of lamps, flatware, barware, furniture, textiles, buildings, clocks and even kitchen taps. Most are still in production and are still manufactured to the high standards Arne Jacobsen would insist on.