They’ve been sat in by some of the world’s most influential people, adorned the front covers of the most distinguished international magazines, and featured in countless movies. This year, Arne Jacobsen’s revered Egg™, Swan™ and Drop™ chairs celebrate the latest milestone – 60 years strong in the game.
Completed in 1960 for the Scandinavian Airlines System, SAS Royal Hotel (since renamed Radisson Blu Royal Hotel) continues to be an icon for modernist architecture by celebrated Danish architect and designer Arne Jacobsen. The first design hotel in Denmark, at completion it was also the tallest building in Scandinavia at twenty-two storeys, and to this day remains one of the finest examples of high-quality craftsmanship and timelessness.
Jacobsen went on to design everything in the hotel, from door handles and cutlery, to wine glasses, ashtrays, and of course, the furniture.
While the majority of the hotel has since been renovated in a modern interpretation of the original, Room 606 remains untouched. A tribute to the late architect and designer, the room is home to some of the world’s most loved pieces of furniture – the Egg™, Swan™ and Drop™ chairs.
Designed by Jacobsen and produced by Republic of Fritz Hansen for the hotel in 1958, so famed are these chairs that they continue to be amongst the most copied in the world.
Now in its 60th year of production of the iconic chairs, Republic of Fritz Hansen is releasing a celebratory collection of the Egg™ and the Swan™ in pure leather, and the Drop™ in sera fabric.
The collection will also include the classic KIASER idell™ floor lamp in a new finish, a pouf by Cecilie Manz, and a throw in ultrafine merino wool.
Ahead of revealing the collection at the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair, we spoke with Christian Andresen, Head of Design at Fritz Hansen, about the world’s obsession with Danish design.
FQ – Why do you think Nordic furniture design has continued to hold such appeal throughout the decades?
I think it is about craftsmanship, quality and purity.
The Nordic design approach is about simplicity, using our Scandinavian crafts in wood and textile, and the style of our homes being simple, bright and built with
FQ – How have the Egg™, Swan™ and Drop™ chairs been modified for the modern environment over the years?
They have not been modified in shape. We have changed the production technique of the shells due to strength,h and we have modernised the internal steel structure in both the Egg™ and Swan™ chairs.
In celebration of the 60th anniversary for the three chairs, Republic of Fritz Hansen has brought out a Limited Edition Collection. How have these classics been adapted for this particular collection?
We will release 1958 pieces of both the Egg™ and Swan™ Anniversary models. We have chosen new leather that is all natural and non-dyed Aniline leather, and we have plated the bases in 23-carat matt gold. The Drop™ will come in a special version with a new wool textile and gold legs in unlimited numbers, and they will all be limited in time to 2018.
FQ – Why do you think these three chairs in particular have stood the test of time and continue to impress in such a competitive industry?
The emotional part of these chairs is in my opinion the reason why. Design is about function and the rational part of a product, but I think the chairs are sculptural and simple, and that speaks to your emotions. You kind of fall in love.
FQ – Tell us your thoughts on purchasing furniture as an investment.
Buying furniture is almost always a big investment. Buying Fritz Hansen furniture, particularly from our heritage collection, is most certainly an investment. We see prices on vintage and used Fritz Hansen pieces keeping their value almost like no other brand.
FQ – If you had to choose a favourite Fritz Hansen product, what would it be?
My favorite Fritz Hansen furniture is the Swan™ chair. I think it looks beautiful from all angles and it makes an elegant space around it in every living room.
FQ – What do you see for the future of furniture design?
Big question that is hard to predict. I think it looks promising. The generations to come are knowledgeable. They have a high demand for quality and they are interested in the history and storytelling around furniture. I think the future will bring new ways of using furniture, and I think the furniture must be flexible, comfortable and in high quality. Generations now do not like the “buy and throw away” culture, and they will maybe in the future even share furniture. Certainly they will look for both contemporary and classic pieces.
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