Our favourite Arne Jacobsen designs
Arne Jacobsen is fondly referred to as the grandfather of modern Danish design and widely regarded as one of the most influential architects and designers of the 20th century. Throughout his life Jacobsen made significant contributions to architectural functionalism with his blend of modernist ideals and Nordic love of naturalism. 30 plus years after his death, the traces are still present today in the architecture we admire and the objects we use every day.
Many of his most iconic designs are pieces of furniture and we’re proud to stock the licensed originals here at Utility. As we celebrate what would be Arne Jacobsen’s 116th birthday, we take a look at our all time Jacobsen favourite designs.
The Egg Chair
The Egg Chair from Fritz Hansen was designed by Arne Jacobsen in 1958 for the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen – a project for which Jacobsen designed everything from the building itself right down to the furniture and bathroom taps. The roaming contours of the Egg Chair were designed to cocoon the user, allowing for a private space in a public setting.
The simple yet sophisticated design of the Egg Chair combined with its functionalism of commercial success has since seen the Egg Chair achieve ‘Design Classic’ status. Today, the Jacobsen Egg Chair sits in some of the world’s finest lobbies and lounges, but also perfectly suits any modern living room.
You can buy the Fritz Hansen Egg Chair at Utility here.
The Series 7 Chair
The 1955 Model 3107 or Series 7 Chair as it is more commonly known represents a further development to Jacobsen’s Ant Chair (see below). The iconic silhouette of the Series 7 was made possible through the technique of pressure moulded veneering developed during the 1920/30’s.
The popularity of the Series 7 is down to its lightweight, stackable construction, and incredible versatility (available in a range of wood finishes, with castors and with arm rests). However, it was (arguably) a photoshoot featuring a nude Christine Keeler, taken by photographer Lewis Morley that catapulted the chair into mainstream knowledge. Despite the photograph featuring a replica chair, the publicity sent sales of the original Series 7 ‘through the roof’.
You can buy the Fritz Hansen Series 7 Chair at Utility here.
The Swan Chair
Like the Egg Chair, the Swan Chair & Sofa were designed by Arne Jacobsen as specialty pieces within the Royal Hotel in Copenhagen. Instantly recognisable by its curved silhouette, the Swan Chair’s three-dimensional shape and lack of straight lines made it a technical innovation. Designed in Arne Jacobsen’s home garage, the Swan’s was made from a synthetic mould, covered by a layer of cold cured foam and sat upon a star swivel base.
You can buy the Fritz Hansen Swan Chair at Utility here.
The AJ Floor Lamp
The Louis Poulsen AJ lamp, named after the designer was designed in 1960 and managed to appear elegant and eye-catching while remaining refined and simplistic in its silhouette. The AJ Lamp produces as a direct light and features an adjustable shade that allows for the angle of light distribution to be directed where it is most needed. The cleans lines and unimposing design of the AJ lamp has seen it achieve design icon status and stand the test of time.
You can buy the Louis Poulsen AJ Floor Lamp at Utility here.
The Ant Chair
Named ‘Ant’ due to its appearance resembling that of the insect of the same name, the Ant chair was designed in 1951 for a the canteen of a Novo Nordisk, a Danish pharmaceutical company. The light, stackable seating solution was originally designed with 3 legs so as to avoid the user getting his/her legs tangled in those of the chair.
Ant is a story of what may not have been. Originally viewed by Fritz Hansen as not having a commercial appeal, it went on to prove very popular and even acted as a evolutionery building block for the Fritz Hansen Series 7 chair – the company’s most sold chair in history.
You can buy the Ant chair in 3 or 4 leg base at Utility. Shop the designs here.
The Drop Chair
A fervent believer in the integration of architecture and design, Jacobsen was responsible for almost every aspect of the SAS Royal Copenhagen project. As well designed the Egg and Swan chairs mentioned above, he created a limited number of the teardrop shaped Drop chairs specifically for use within the hotel.
Production of the Drop Chair was halted after production and stayed that way until Fritz Hansen re-introduced the chair in 2014.
You can buy the Fritz Hansen Drop Chair at Utility here.
Grand Prix Chair
The Grand Prix Chair, or 3130 as it was originally named, by Arne Jacobsen was first introduced in 1957 at the Designer’s Spring Exhibition at the Danish Museum of Art & Design in Copenhagen. Later the following year it was awarded the ‘Grand Prix’ at the Triennale in Milan – the finest distinction of the exhibition, after which the 3130 received its new name.
The seat and back of the chair show an expert understanding of the human form and manufacturing capabilities, with the lightweight, durable plywood construction shaping comfortably to fit the user’s body.
You can buy the original Grand Prix in a wood base or steel legged base online at Utility.