Among the many furniture design, that the Republic of Fritz Hansen have launched since the company was founded in 1872, those of Arne Jacobsen have proved especially popular. Arne Jacobsen’s cooperation with the Danish designer Fritz Hansen started in 1934, but didn’t receive its defining moment until the release of Arne Jacobsen’s Ant Chair in 1952. With the follow-up Series 7 1955 Fritz Hansen and Arne Jacobsen finally entered the history of furniture design. Many of Jacobsen’s designs continue to define the portfolio of the Danish designer furniture manufacturer. Arne Jacobsen however worked not only as a designer, but also as an architect and a project in which these two professions perfectly combined is the Royal Hotel in Copenhagen. Developed in the late 1950s Arne Jacobsen was responsible for both the construction but also the furnishings and furniture: popular design classics such as the Egg Chair, Swan Chair and 3300 series resulting. Furniture which was, somewhat inevitably, taken by Fritz Hansen into series production.
With the Ant Chair Fritz Hansen wanted to build on the successes of the American modern chair designs and commissioned Arne Jacobsen to design a similar all-purpose moulded plywood chair. The furniture manufacturer Fritz Hansen had experimented with bent plywood since 1872 and created with the Ant Chair the first three-dimensionally shaped plywood seat where the seat and the backrest are made of a single piece. To guarantee the objects stability the seat was given its distinctive shape, which ultimately became the name under which it is popularly known. Arne Jacobsen designed the chair for Fritz Hansen as a three-legged model; however, Fritz Hansen also insisted on a four-legged alternative, because such are more stable.
Arne Jacobsen designed The Egg Chair for the Royal Hotel in Copenhagen, a project for which he planned numerous other furniture objects and lamps - as well as the building itself. Formally based on the classic wing chair, The Egg chair by Arne Jacobsen with its almost sculptural appearance constitutes can in may ways be considered as defining a space within a space. Existing exclusively of curves the chair is composed of a plastic shell padded with polyurethane foam such that it produces an extravagant shape with minimal material usage. The Egg Chair is completed in its organic form by the matching ottoman and by the Swan Chair which Arne Jacobsen also by him for the SAS Royal Hotel Copenhagen.
Further designs by Arne Jacobsen for Fritz Hansen
The collaboration between Fritz Hansen as manufacturer and Arne Jacobsen as designer was extremely close; and resulted in numerous furniture designs, many of which are still in production and considered classics of post-war 20th century European design. In addition to the popular Arne Jacobsen Series 7 furniture, Ant Chair and The Egg, smow also supplies the following Arne Jacobsen furniture and furnishings:
Together with The Egg and The Swan Arne Jacobsen also created the Drop for his 1958 work of art, the SAS Hotel in Copenhagen . At that time only produced in small numbers for the hotel, the chair with the subtle yet strong character was first produced as a modern plastic version by Fritz Hansen in 2014.
Designed in 1963 for the faculty of the St. Catherine’s College, Oxford, the Arne Jacobsen Oxford chair with its high back represents the prestige of a conventionally educated English middle class, yet can also hold its own against contemporary furniture design objects. And so thankful for the furniture series Arne Jacobsen designed for the college, he even received an honorary doctorate from Oxford.
The curved shape of The Swan represents a key component of Arne Jacobsen’s interior design concept for the lobby and lounge area of the Royal Hotel Copenhagen. As with the Egg Chair Jacobsen created for the hotel the Swan Chair is an object without straight lines.
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