Ultra Swank - Retro Adventures

Arne Jacobsen – The forefather of Danish Modernism

Written by Christopher Alm • September 8th, 2007
Arne Jacobsen – The forefather of Danish Modernism

Room 606 at the The Lobby of the Radisson SAS Royal Hotel, Copenhagen

This is the third post in my series about my favorite architects from the golden days of architecture. We are going back to Scandinavian design again, allow me to introduce Arne Jacobsen, one of the forefathers of Danish Modernism and Functionalism.

Born in Copenhagen 1902, educated at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture in Copenhagen and professor at the Academy between the years 1956-65. Jacobsen was both an architect and designer, his most famous works include The Ant chair, Model 3107 chair, The Egg chair, St Catherine’s College, University of Oxford, SAS Royal Hotel Copenhagen and Bellavista in Klampenborg.

Personally, I admire the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen, not only because it was Denmark’s first skyscraper but for its clean “International” design and the use of material. The hotel is located right next to the Tivoli (amusement park) and the Central Train station, which makes it a ideal place to stay if you visit Copenhagen.

When the hotel was built in 1960 it had a separate check-in and waiting area for people traveling with SAS from the Copenhagen International Airport. Buses would wait outside to transport the passengers to the airport itself. The terminal was located at the ground floor of the hotel, next to the lobby and was built to resemble the look of a airport.

It was probably a very convenient service for the jet setters of the 1960s, but it was eventually discontinued. The hotel has obviously changed a lot over the years, but they have kept one room (606) in its original design, which also happens to be available to stay in if you want to experience a blast from the past.

Above: The airport terminal and check-in area inside the Hotel

Above: The exterior of the Radisson SAS Royal Hotel, Copenhagen built in 1960

Above: A Gas Station outside Copenhagen

Above: The famous drop, egg and swan chairs

Above: Arne Jacobsen at work

Christopher Alm

Christopher founded Ultra Swank in 2005. Has a crush on mid-century graphic design, defunct airlines, Disneyland and the Century 21 Exposition. Is a collector of easy listening music from the 60s and 70s and a Swedish expat living in Barcelona, Spain.

Find out more about Christopher Alm

  • Charles

    The beauty of simplicity can be so simply beautiful. How sad it is that–at least in my neck of the woods–design is marked by complication for the sake of complication. I appreciate your posting of these essential architects and visionaries. Also…HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! Your blog is always informative and entertaining.

    Charles (aka Lee)

  • Anonymous

    One of the most brilliant architects of all time. I could go on for days….

  • THXjay

    If only the world was like that….

    Never mind, we can all dream of a retro alternate reality:)

    I’ve just started my own blog and would like to add you to my links if that’s OK with you.

    I’ts a good job CD’s don’t wear out because ever since I downloaded and burned your fantastic “Space Age Lounge” collections I have been listening to them constantly, please hurry with volume 4 :)

    All the best from the UK



  • Chris

    Thank you Charles and thxjay! I agree with you completely. We can only dream of the past gone times now. At least the buildings are still there, even if they might have changed a bit over the years.

    thxjay, your blog looks very interesting! Love the idea of posting Crime related albums, feel free to link back to my site if you want to!

  • phil

    hi , I worked there as banqueting manager in the 70’s for two years hoewever I’m from the uk , it hadn’t changed ….

    I have some great photos if you’d like them but i really appreciate the photos you have shown here

    thanks for great blog

  • Chris

    I’d love to see your photos Phil! Please e-mail them or send a link to me at info at thirdphaze.com – Thank you!

  • Hayden

    wonderful photos – every time I see the Egg Chair I just want to curl up in it – so beautiful!

    I found you by searching under architecture and Sweden, and wonder if you can help me. I just returned from my first trip to Sweden, and was smitten by Malmo. In particular, I’d love to know who the architect was for the marvelous Hogskola in the harbor area. I saw information on it in the Stockholm architectural museum, but didn’t think to write it down – thought I’d google later, but now I can’t seem to find anything on that wonderful building!

    Thanks – you can reply email if you know and will share – I don’t want to clutter your comments but couldn’t find your email address. mine is foster_hayden@hotmail.com.

    Now I need to go through your back postings and enjoy the rest of your blog!

  • Yana

    Arne Jacobsen – one of the most influential furniture designers of the last century – has designed the lounge Egg Chair in 1956. Its reproduction has a molded fiberglass frame. Improvements include a fire retardant polyurethane foam with high quality crepe pure wool upholstery. This wonderful chair is presented in the Mojo Interiors webshop.

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