Arne Jacobsen (1902-1971) is one of the most important and successful contributors to modern Danish architecture and design in history. Born in Copenhagen in 1902, he worked as a stone mason up until 1924 when he enrolled at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture.
Before even graduating, Jacobsen had already made a name for himself by winning a silver medal for a chair design at the 1925 Paris Art Deco fair, ‘Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes’. On graduating in 1927 he obtained a job at Copenhagen city architect Poul Holsøe's architectural practice. Continuing to stand out within the architecture world, in 1929 he won a Danish Architect's Association competition, for a project that he and Flemming Lassen collaborated on titled "House of the Future”.
However, his major public breakthrough as an architect came in 1932 when he won a competition for the design of a seaside resort complex in Klampenborg, just north of Copenhagen.
Among his most famous works as an architect are the apartment blocks Bellavista in Klampenborg (1933-34), Bellevue Theatre (1935-36), Søholm semi-detached houses in Klampenborg (1950-54), Rødovre Town Hall (1957), The Munkegård School in Copenhagen (1955-59), Danmarks Nationalbank (started in 1965), and Saint Catherine’s College in Oxford (1964-66). Though, the project that he is probably most remembered for is the SAS Royal Hotel Copenhagen (1956-1960) as it was this that saw him design not only the building but everything from the furniture – including the iconic Egg and Swan chairs – to the gifts sold in the shop.
In 1956, Jacobsen returned to the Royal Danish Academy and taught architecture for 11 years (1956-1965). However, he continued to design products and buildings right up to his unexpected death in 1971.Today his legacy as an avant-garde designer lives on through his architecture and products that are as popular as ever.