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Designer Review: Arne Jacobsen 1902 - 1971
From a young age, the legendary Arne Jacobsen was a designer ahead of his time. As a child, Jacobsen painted over the Victorian wallpaper in his bedroom. Rather than the typical childish colours or prints, Jacobsen decided to paint his room entirely white! During the early-mid twentieth century in which Jacobsen thrived, white walls were revolutionary. A design visionary and creator, Jacobsen would later become one of the most important figures in the development of the most-desired Scandinavian design.
Jacobsen’s influence in furniture and lighting design is of particular interest. His functional and architectural furniture and lighting designs still resonate with today’s top furniture brands and designers, such as Fritz Hansen and Louis Poulsen. You will be pleasantly surprised to see just how commonplace some of Jacobsen’s designs have become! Read on for our list of favorites by Arne Jacobsen…
Arne Jacobsen + Fritz Hansen
Founded in Denmark in 1872, the Fritz Hansen collection comprises a number of iconic pieces of furniture from renowned Danish architects and designers, including Arne Jacobsen. Jacobsen’s collaboration with Fritz Hansen dates back to the 1930s and continues today with a number of chair designs.
The Fritz Hansen Egg chair designed by Arne Jacobsen needs little in the way of introduction. Despite being designed over 60 years ago, this masterpiece of Danish design will still command attention in any interior setting.
Originally designed for the Radisson SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen, Jacobsen found the perfect shape for the chair by experimenting with wire and plaster in his workshop. Today, the Fritz Hansen Egg chair is recognised as one of the triumphs of Jacobsen’s legendary career as a Scandinavian design icon.
It is only just possible to cover a single Fritz Hansen Egg Chair in leather without adding an unwanted seam to the two cowhides! Each handmade chair requires 1,000 stitches. It is very clear to see the quality and craftsman’s ship that makes the Fritz Hansen Egg chair a much sought-after design classic.
The Fritz Hansen Drop chair was also designed by Jacobsen alongside the Fritz Hansen Egg chair in the pursuit of his masterpiece, the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen.
The Fritz Hansen Drop chair was exclusively produced for the hotel in the 1950s but in 2014, Fritz Hansen relaunched the Drop chair with a new fresh design. Since its launch, the chair has had a great success thanks to its simple design and comfort.
Jacobsen took inspiration from the natural contours of the human body to create a feeling of embrace. Made from plastic, it is also a relatively inexpensive, yet remains a classic design. The bases can be either chrome or powder coated to match the seat.
Arne Jacobsen + Louis Poulsen
Founded in 1874, Louis Poulsen is a Danish lighting manufacturer born out of the Scandinavian design tradition where form follows function. Working with Arne Jacobsen helped to propel Louis Poulsen to one of the key producers of architectural and decorative lighting.
The Louis Poulsen AJ Table lamp designed by Arne Jacobsen in 1957 emits downward directed light that can be adjusted by the angle of the shade to optimise light distribution. The inside of the shade is painted white to ensure comfortable light. The Louis Poulsen AJ Table lamp was yet another detail featured in Jacobsen’s most famous hotel design project.
The AJ Table lamp was used in several parts of the hotel in copper and stainless-steel. New colours have since been introduced over the years in celebration of the series.
In 2020, the 60th anniversary of the opening of the SAS Royal Hotel was celebrated with the reintroduction of the AJ Table Mini which looks particularly nice at home on a windowsill, on a bedside table, or in combination with other occasional furniture.
In addition, all the AJ Lamp versions were reintroduced by Louis Poulsen in the original stainless-steel, which reflects its surroundings in the spirit of Jacobsen and emphasizes the lamp’s minimalist and distinctive shape and flawless emission of light.
Louis Poulsen AJ Eklipta Wall Light
The Louis Poulsen AJ Eklipta wall light was designed by Arne Jacobsen in 1959 for Rødovre Town Hall. Two sizes were produced for this project: 35cm and 45cm. They were used indoors on stairways and outdoors as wall lamps. The 22cm version was later designed for St. Catherine’s College in England.
The glass of the Louis Poulsen AJ Eklipta is designed to provide a uniformly lit surface as well as a decorative halo of light around the fixture.
Arne Jacobsen preferred the largest model when specifying his own projects. Today, the Louis Poulsen AJ Eklipta is used worldwide and in a variety of architectural contexts.
We continue to honour the legendary Arne Jacobsen designs, including Louis Poulsen light fixtures and Fritz Hansen furniture, all found here at Funktion Alley!