Born in Copenhagen in 1902, Arne Jacobsen studied architecture at the Royal Academy of the Arts. Architectural commissions dwindled during World War II and being Jewish, Jacobsen was threatened by the Nazi occupation of Denmark. In 1943 he left Denmark for two years. When he returned to Denmark in 1945 the country urgently needed new housing and public buildings. Jacobsen’s late 1940s houses and apartment blocks were fairly spartan in design and were intended to be built quickly to fill the need.
During the 1950s, Jacobsen became increasingly interested in product design inspired by the work of the US furniture designers, Charles and Ray Eames. In 1951, Jacobsen completed work on the Ant Chair, an intricately molded plywood seat on three thin steel legs.
The Ant Chair, 1951, is now also available in a four-legged edition.
The Ant Chair was followed by the simpler hourglass form of the 1955 Model 3107 - Series 7 Chair. Like the Ant, the Series 7 was perfect for modern living being light, compact and easily stackable.
In 1958 Arne Jacobsen designed the Swan Chair for the lobby and lounge areas of the Royal Hotel in Copenhagen. The Swan Chair was a technologically innovative chair: No straight lines - only curves. The template for the Swan originated in Jacobsen’s own garage in his home north of Copenhagen and have been in production at Fritz Hansen ever since.
As an architect and an industrial designer, Jacobsen always strove to achieve grace and coherence. In the process, he emerged as the single most influential Danish architect of the 20th century. The Egg Chair, also designed for the Royal Hotel, has become a modernist classic.
In 1957 Jacobsen designed the stainless steel, abstract-shaped cutlery which the director Stanley Kubrick chose as futuristic props for his film, 2001: A Space Odyssey
The Drop Chair, designed in 1958, was produced in limited numbers. After more than 50 years in hibernation, the Drop is now relaunched. It is a small chair with a big personality and it is as fresh and vibrant as a new design but with a rare heritage. The design of the back combines a warm embrace with freedom of movement, resulting in a surprising level of comfort.
Designed by Arne Jacobsen in 1960 for the Royal Hotel in Copenhagen, the AJ Table Light contributed to the total design concept of the hotel. Several of the hotel items have achieved design icon status today and among the lighting products the AJ Lamps in particular have become world renowned.
Five new colour variants were introduced in connection with the 50th anniversary of the launch of the AJ Lamp family. The new colours have been carefully chosen in keeping with an updated Arne Jacobsen colour scheme. It is also available as a floor light and a wall sconce.
Jacobsen was responsible for another 20th century classic, the Cylinda Line of stainless steel home wares which he designed, in the late 1960s for Stelton.
This was modern, cutting edge design in its day and rapidly made the coffee pot an icon. With its clean lines and design, this coffee pot remains stylish decade after decade. Use it for serving coffee or hot chocolate, while appreciating its attractive cylindrical shape.
Jacobsen's most important architectural work was a unified architectural and interior design scheme for St. Catherine's College, Oxford, which, like his earlier work for the Royal Hotel, involved the design of site-specific furniture.
St Catherine's College, Oxford, officially opened in 1962 and was one of the first at Oxford to admit women (in 1974). Jacobsen designed everything inside the buildings, including all the furniture, flatware, clocks, and all other accoutrements.
Arne Jacobsen died in 1971. Today his iconic designs are available through Fritz Hansen, Louis Poulsen and Stelton.
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