Our Shropshire architects Love the Works of Arne Jacobson for Innovation

Our residential architects like to dabble in various aspects of design and architecture in their planning drawings. After all, it allows them to get the creative juices flowing and the brain muscles flexing. One thing we sometimes consider is the use of furniture in the space.

Furniture has a significant impact on the architectural and design world. On that note, let’s take a plunge into the life of Arne Jacobson, considering how he inspired others, and how his works have gone on to prove a basis for some of the ethics and mindset of our Shropshire architects.

our Shropshire architects love the work of residential architect

Arne Jacobsen Vola Kitchen and Bathroom Fittings 1968

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Arne Emil Jacobsen was a Danish commercial and residential architect, as well as a furniture designer, born on February 11th, 1902 (in Copenhagen). He passed away on March 24th, 1971. Whilst he was known for his contributions to architecture, Jacobsen is also held in high regard for his work in the furniture industry, though he never referred to himself as a designer and apparently resented the term. It’s ok Arne, own that talent!

As a child, Jacobsen would have a brief spell as an apprentice mason before going on to be admitted to the Architecture School at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts; here he studied under Kay Fisker and Kaj Gottlob from 1924 to 1927. Whilst still a student, in 1925 Jacobsen participated in the Paris Art Deco fair, where he won a silver medal for a chair design (this would be arguably the start of his world-renowned furniture escapades).

Before leaving the Academy, Jacobsen also travelled to Germany and familiarised himself with the rationalist residential architect designs of Mies van der Rohe and Walter Gropius. Their work would be an inspiration for his graduation project that he received a gold medal for. It’s fair to say that even before finishing his education, the talent of Jacobsen was on clear display.

Once his time at architecture school was over, Jacobsen set off to work at Poul Holsøe’s architectural practice and in 1929, whilst collaborating with Flemming Lassen, he won a Danish Architect’s Association competition for designing the “House of the Future”.

Our Shropshire architects love the work of commercial architects

His planning drawing depicted a spiral-shaped, flat-roofed house of glass and concrete that included a private garage, a boathouse, and a helicopter pad. If this wasn’t quite enough to stand out, there were windows that rolled down as a car’s would, a conveyor tube to collect post, and a kitchen stocked with ready-made meals. The design ensured Jacobsen became immediately recognised as an incredibly talented architect.

Only one year later, Jacobsen would go on to set up his own office and over the next few years some of his most recognised residential and commercial architect projects were completed. The planning drawings were made meticulously right down to the final detail, a trademark of his.

He designed the Rothenborg House in 1930 and would quickly go on to win a competition for the design of a seaside resort complex just north of Copenhagen. This would prove to be a major breakthrough in the recognition of his commercial architect work and by 1937 the project had been completed. His trademark for attention to detail, open-planning, the formation of buildings is all clearly on display and these early works clearly show the influence of the White Cubist architecture Jacobsen had encountered in Germany.

Whilst many were opposed to his avant-garde style (surprise, surprise) Jacobsen wouldn’t be deterred from his work and went on to build Stelling House in 1937. At the time there was a little uproar, but the building still stands to this day and is viewed more favourably, especially by our Shropshire architects.

Planning drawings


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The planning drawings of Århus City Hall were met with more controversy (deemed too modern and too anti-monumental) and lead to Jacobsen having to add a tower and marble cladding. However, it’s still considered one of his most important buildings. The takeaway here is to remember you can’t please everyone, and some may disagree with your vision. Despite that, innovation and creativity can shine through.

The start of the 1950s saw Jacobsen successfully completing several residential and commercial architect projects. These included the Allehusene complex and his Søholm terraced houses. His devotion to his work and passion, despite his hardships, is something truly admirable to our Shropshire architects firm, as it probably is to many others.

The Rødovre Town Hall, built from 1952 to 1956, allowed Jacobsen to showcase his skill in combining different materials (sandstone, two types of glass, painted metalwork and stainless steel) into a single project. It was also notable for the central staircase, which is suspended from the roof on orange-red steel rods. All the intricate details were planned out by Jacobsen who is often credited for his noted for his proportions in his project. These are on full display in this and future commercial architect projects.

These future projects included the Munkegaard School and the SAS Royal Hotel. He would go on to attract attention and commissions from abroad due to Jacobsen being seen as much of an interior designer as he was an architect, despite his dislike towards that term. These latter projects included the St Catherine’s College. Jacobsen designed everything, including the garden (and the fish within). Nick Knowles would be so proud.

Despite the fact he was adamant he was an architect and not a designer, Jacobsen would be known for his interior designs linked to his architectural projects. His most notable furniture design is arguably the Paris lounge chair (1929), though along with collaboration with furniture manufacturer Fritz Hansen, Jacobsen would develop lamps and light fixtures alongside Louis Poulsen. Much of Jacobsen’s inspiration would come from the designs of Charles and Ray Eames, and the Italian design historian, Ernesto Rogers.

He created the Ant chair (1951) for an extension of the Novo Pharmaceutical Factory and later the Seven Series (1955). These were notable for being, lightweight and compact, as well as easily stackable. A further two successful chair designs, the Egg and the Swan were created for the SAS Royal Hotel in 1956.

Jacobsen would also make other designs for Stelton (a company founded by his foster son Peter Holmbl) which would include the ‘classic’ Cylinda Line stainless steel cocktail kit and tableware. Jacobsen would also design furniture and accessories for bathrooms and kitchens, many of which are still used today.

Whilst Jacobsen may never have referred to himself as an interior designer, he most definitely was a good one. There’s no slander on the man when saying this, it’s a simple fact really. But out of respect for his wishes, our Shropshire architects commend him for his work as an architect, his labours, and his legacy, and leave it at that.

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