We’re celebrating the 116th birthday of the iconic designer and architect by looking back at some of his best work.
was born on February 11, 1902 in Copenhagen, Denmark. He studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and became one of the country’s preeminent architects and designers in the mid-20th century. Though he went on to design the SAS Royal Hotel and the Danish National Bank, Jacobsen’s touch remained in the private realm as well, as he designed lighting fixtures for Danish manufacturer Arne Jacobsen and furniture for Louis Poulsen . Fritz Hansen
Arne Jacobsen’s indispensable contributions to
architecture and design continue to inspire us. Here are some of our favorite designs that highlight and honor his legacy. midcentury
Along with the birth of the Swan chair, Swan sofa, and Series 3300, Arne Jacobsen also created the Egg chair for the Royal Hotel in Copenhagen. When he was commissioned to design and furnish the entire project in 1958, he pulled out all the stops in order to create integrated and forward-thinking results. As one of the project’s most innovative designs, the Egg chair and foot stool was unexpected in a space that was filled with vertical and horizontal surfaces. The sculptural shape was first imagined in Jacobsen’s garage near Copenhagen, where he also designed the Swan for the lobby and reception areas of the hotel. The reclining and rotatable chair is made of a strong polyurethane foam inner shell that’s upholstered and reinforced with glass fibre. The tilt mechanism is made of steel sheet, steel tubing, and spring steel. Like Jacobsen’s other designs, it’s available in a wide range of fabrics and leathers.
When Arne Jacobsen was commissioned to design all aspects of the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen in 1958, one of the results was an innovative chair he designed for the lobby and lounge areas—which he dubbed the Swan. Along with the Egg chair, Jacobsen first conceived the Swan in the garage of his home just north of Copenhagen. This assignment was the perfect opportunity to bring forth his theory of integrating both design and architecture in seamless ways. In order to create the curved design he was imagining, he designed a molded shell made of synthetic material that’s padded with cold-cured foam, and placed it on an aluminum star swivel base and a satin polished steel pedestal. You can choose between two different heights and from a range of fabric and leather upholstery options.
Designed by Arne Jacobsen, the aptly named AJ lamps were designed in 1960 for the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark. Each lamp in the AJ series is elegant and eye-catching, while maintaining a refined simplicity in its silhouette. The AJ Floor Lamp features a sleek shade that emits directed light. The adjustable shade can be angled to distribute light where it is most needed, making it an excellent choice for a reading corner in a den or a home office. The interior of the shade is painted white, ensuring that the emitted light will be soft, while maintaining focus. Available in several colored finishes from saturated hues to neutral tones, the AJ Floor Lamp will complement a variety of interiors.
One of Arne Jacobsen’s last designs, the Banker’s Clock (1971) was devised for the Danish National Bank, also designed by Jacobsen, located in central Copenhagen. This clock is crisply detailed yet restrained, making it adaptable to residential and commercial spaces. Shielded by a convex mineral glass crystal, its clean face has a 12-square line marking each hour position; the square closest to the clock’s center is filled starting at 1 o’clock, the next at 2 and so on, creating a subtle spiral pattern. The Banker’s Clock features a precision quartz movement powered by a single AA battery (not included). This is an authentic Arne Jacobsen clock manufactured by Rosendahl Timepieces. Made in Denmark.
Originally sketched on a napkin in 1964, Arne Jacobsen’s Cylinda Line (1967) stainless steel barware took three years, and the creation of new technology, to produce. Jacobsen insisted on seamless tubes with perfect brushed surfaces, and he continued to add new pieces – some designed by Peter Holmblad – to the collection until 1974. An immediate success, Cylinda Line was awarded the 1967 ID Prize by the Danish Design Council, and pieces of the line are included in the permanent collections of MoMA and the Victoria and Albert Museum. Made in China.
When the legendary Danish designer Arne Jacobsen was commissioned to develop the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen in 1958, he ended up designing almost every aspect of the hotel. Along with creating textiles, accessories, and custom built-in elements, he also designed a few new furniture pieces specifically for the project. As a result, he designed the Drop Chair and created a limited number of them for the hotel. After production ceased, the design was forgotten for more than 50 years, but was revived by Fritz Hansen in 2014. The teardrop-shaped shell comes in six colored plastic options, as well as upholstery in fabric or leather. Made of ABS plastic, its internal structure is reinforced with nylon, while the upholstered version is formed with cold-cured foam. Additionally, you can choose to have the tube legs in chromed or powder-coated steel.
Developed by Arne Jacobsen in the 1950s, around the same time he was designing the iconic Ant Chair, his Dot Stool (1954) resulted from the same rigorous level of testing and refinement. Originally designed with three legs, Dot was changed in 1970 to have four. It features a molded walnut veneer seat with or without a cover fashioned from the leftover cuttings of fine Elegance full-grain leather that come from upholstering other Fritz Hansen chairs, such as Egg and Swan. Made in Poland.
Born and raised in Copenhagen, Arne Jacobsen graduated in 1927 with a degree in architecture from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. Inspired by the likes of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier, Jacobsen embraced a functionalist approach from the outset. He was among the first to introduce modern furniture to Denmark and create industrial pieces that built upon its craft-based heritage. AJ Eklipta (1959) was designed for Rødovre Town Hall, where it was used for staircases and walls indoors and out. Using a hand-blown three-layer opal glass diffuser with transparent rim, it emits soft, uniform light with a decorative halo around the edge. Small mounts on walls only; other two mount on walls or ceilings. Bulbs (not included): 40W/T4/G9 halogen for small; 60W/A19/E26 incandescent or LED equivalent for medium; 100W/A19/E26 incandescent or LED equivalent for large. UL Wet Listed. Made in Denmark.
The Series 7 Chair (1955) debuted in Sweden at the Helsingborg exhibition of 1955, or H55. One of the most copied chairs of the modern era, it features an ideal shape for the human form, with a back that offers just the right amount of give to keep your upper body comfortable and a waterfall seat that supports your legs without pressing into them. Arne Jacobsen, instilled with a love of materials, shaped the core of Danish design identity with this chair by forming it from one piece of plywood that he cleverly narrowed in the middle to accommodate three different bends. Once painstakingly made by hand, Series 7 is now crafted using automation methods borrowed from the German car industry. Suitable for commercial use. Stacks six high. Authentic Series 7 Counter Stool by Republic of Fritz Hansen. Made in Denmark.
Designed by midcentury Danish master Arne Jacobsen, Grand Prix (1957) didn’t just win the most prestigious award at the Triennale di Milano – it was named for it. Originally introduced at the Danish Museum of Art and Design in 1957, it was displayed later that year in Milan, where it took both the Grand Prix award and name. Jacobsen applied his expert understanding of the human form and wood molding techniques to create this lightweight, durable chair, still ideal for a wide range of commercial and residential applications. Its molded plywood seat is shaped to comfortably support the body. This is the authentic Grand Prix by Republic of Fritz Hansen. Made in Denmark.