Carpet from the SAS Royal Hotel, Copenhagen
Denmark, 1958
Arne Jacobsen

C. Olesen Boligtextiler
Machine-woven wool
95½ × 134½”

Arne Jacobsen was an architect and designer who approached his work from both perspectives, making major contributions to Functionalism and Danish Modern style. Born and raised in Copenhagen, Denmark, he won the silver medal for his chair design at the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs in Paris in 1925 while an architecture student at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. After winning the Danish Architect’s Association competition for his House of the Future design, he opened his own office in 1929. Jacobsen was forced to flee to Sweden in 1943 following the rise of the Nazi party, but later returned to Denmark ushering in a wave of landmark public and private commissions.

Jacobsen designed a number of notable buildings including the SAS Royal Copenhagen Hotel, the Royal Danish Embassy in London, and the National Bank of Denmark. The SAS Royal Hotel (1960) was the first design hotel ever built in which he designed both the building and the hotel’s interior. He also influenced a wide range of minimalist design including light fixtures, fabrics, wallpaper, and flatware among many others. Jacobsen’s futuristic flatware design was even featured in Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey. Jacobsen also left his mark in furniture design with the iconic Swan, Ant, and Egg chairs.

He was a professor of architecture at the Skolen for Brugskunst in Copenhagen for 11 years and received the C.F. Hansen Medal in 1955 as well as an Honorary Fellowship from the American Institute of Architects. Jacobsen’s work is included in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Design Museum in London, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. —Wright

(Photo: Wright)