Arne Jacobsen and Room 606

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    There are not many hotels where the furniture and lighting features in the national design museum. The Kunstindustriemuseet (Museum of Decorative Arts) in Copenhagen acknowledges the startling effect the building and its contents had on all aspects of Danish design in the late 1950’s. Many interior designers dream of designing everything in an hotel, few are successful in carrying it off. Arne Jacobsen, already at the time teaching in the Danish School of Design, carried the project through controversy to meet the brief of Scandinavian Airlines System (known everywhere SAS Airlines, and birthplace of hotel operators Radisson SAS eventually becoming Rezidor) to provide it with an hotel in Copenhagen symbolic of the emergence of the jet age.The hotel was the first true high-rise building amongst the otherwise homogenous predominantly pre-war architecture of the Danish capital, reaching 22 stories high. It was for a while the tallest building in Scandinavia – remarkable considering the first steel frame skyscraper buildings in Chicago date from the 19th Century (see Kimpton’s Hotel Burnham , built in 1894 as the first glass walled skyscraper). The Royal hotel building is amongst the first attempts to create a transport interchange, providing check-in services for passengers using SAS flights from the capital’s airport, and became known as a ‘landmark for the jet age’. Apparently the local newspaper ‘Politiken’ commented: “Each day thousands of people stop up in Vesterbrogade, look up and think: ‘I hope that it won’t fall down in a storm’”

    The sense of this cultural and stylistic inheritance is strong in the hotel. The sense of local and corporate pride in the achievements of Arne Jacobsen is apparent by the preservation of Room 606 with the original colour scheme, including fabrics, furniture and lighting, all designed by Jacobsen. The room is also part of the lettings so if you want to stay and experience a room style and functionality of the 1950’s, the room can be requested when booking. In truth some of the design features Jacobsen built in work better than some of the features in the contemporary rooms, particularly his tracked lighting system and concealed dressing table units.

    Continued on page two…

    Daniel Fountain / 18.10.2013

    Editor, Hotel Designs


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