Arne Jacobsen was born and raised in Copenhagen. In 1927, he graduated as an architect from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. After graduating, he obtained his first job at the office of the City Architect of Copenhagen launching his own office only two years later. Arne Jacobsen is a world famous Danish modernistic architect. His buildings are numerous in Denmark, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
Among his more famous projects are the National Bank in Copenhagen (1971), SAS Royal Hotel & Terminal, Copenhagen (1960), and St. Catherine’s College in Oxford, UK (1963). It is said that his fear of flying inhibited him from making a full impact on the American Architectural environment.
As an architect, Arne Jacobsen had very strong decision making skills, making it possible for him to influence not only the design of the building itself, but the majority of the details. Over the years, he ventured into various fields related to his work, such as light fixtures, furniture, cutlery, door handles, sanitary fixtures, fabrics, and wallpaper patterns. "The Egg" and "The Swan" are two famous chairs designed by Jacobsen.
During Arne Jacobsen’s lifetime, he received several prestigious awards both at home and abroad. He became a professor at the Royal Danish Academy for 11 years and through that he influenced an entire generation of Danish Architects. Each eventually developed their own architectural language, built upon the same rationalistic and minimalist approach toward architecture.
As a child growing up in Copenhagen, it’s said that Arne Jacobsen painted over the Victorian wallpaper in his bedroom. Young Arne didn’t cover his walls with typical childish drawings or paint the ornate wallpaper boyish blue – he decided to paint his room entirely white.
This decision may seem typical today, but in the early twentieth century white walls were not yet in fashion. From the very beginning, Arne Jacobsen was ahead of his time.
For more than half of the twentieth century, Arne Jacobsen’s ideas shaped the landscape of Danish design, rippling out from Scandinavia to influence architects and designers around the world. He managed to direct projects ranging from complex buildings like Danmarks National Bank to detailed challenges as humble as a special teaspoon for his cutlery set, working with a relatively small studio staff driven by an unquenchable need to create.
Jacobsen’s creative process centered on his strict consideration of detail. He brought his visions to life for patrons and builders with scrupulous, hand-painted watercolours. In any given year, Jacobsen managed to design what others might be happy to produce in five.
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