Libby Bull: NEWH Director of scholarships
06th July 2018 | Staff spotlight
This year, exactly 60 years ago, Arne Jacobsen presented the world’s first design hotel to the public: the SAS Royal Hotel, today the Radisson Collection Royal Hotel. The hotel was not just an architectural revolution, but it was a genuine ‘gesamtkunstwerk’ where everything from furniture to cutlery was designed by Jacobsen himself.
The furniture, which included such pieces as the EggTM, SwanTM and DropTM, was revolutionary and was all created in collaboration with Fritz Hansen, who still produces these and many other icons from Jacobsen’s studio in Copenhagen. G.A were recently lucky enough to get an insight into that process during a tour of the Fritz Hansen factory where they discovered creativity and inspiration at every stage.
Founded in Denmark in 1872, the company has a long history of collaborating with leading international designers to bring their visionary concepts to life – and to the spaces they help transform. Common to their collections is a sculptural artistic expression that blurs the lines between design and art and unites function and form in unprecedented ways, giving each work significant presence and purpose.
Perhaps most iconic of all their collections are the EggTM and SwanTM and the craftsmanship behind these pieces has not changed since the chairs were created in 1958. Each chair is still manufactured by hand by a team of experienced upholsterers, with the leather meticulously chosen and cut by hand. It takes no fewer than 1,100 hand stitches to craft an Egg, and it is this precision that makes the chair an enduring statement of quality and craftsmanship. Besides being a design triumph, Arne Jacobsen’s Egg sprang from a new technique, using new innovative materials, which the Danish architect and designer was among the first to use. Today, just as 60 years ago, the iconic chair consists of a shell in polyurethane foam upholstered in either fabric or leather and mounted on a 4-star base.
Fritz Hansen’s work is guided by the philosophy that a single piece of furniture can beautify an entire room or building – and heighten the well-being of the people who inhabit these spaces. With an international presence and an ever-expanding collection of iconic designs, Fritz Hansen continues its journey of creating elegant, human interior design essentials that never compromise on comfort.