Swan Chair (1958)

The Swan Chair, designed by Danish icon Arne Jacobsenwhich in 1958, is one of history’s most iconic pieces of furniture. Designed in Jacobsen’s garage, it was created from a moulded shell placed over an aluminium swivel base, and upholstered in fabric or leather.

Drop, Egg and Swan chairs designed by Arne Jacobsen for use in the SAS Royal Hotel (pictured in background), 1958-60.
Drop, Egg and Swan chairs designed by Arne Jacobsen for use in the SAS Royal Hotel (pictured in background), 1958-60.

Image source:https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/2ebc087c-1bfd-485b-a179-370673ec800abycorno.fulgur75

Technological Innovation

The Swan, made and produced by theRepublic of Fritz Hansen, has been in constant production since it was first designed, awing the public for what was, at the time, unseen technologically innovation for the time, as the chair uniquely presentedno straight lines. Such is the chair’s popularity, that when the designerPaul Smithlaunched his new fabric design line,Point, he chose to have it cover a Swan chair. Aside from the lining material, the design of the Swan has changed very little over the years, and this air of being an almost unique art piece is reinforced by the serial numbers, each unique for every exemplary, adorning the chair, distinguishing it from a copy as well; it is no coincidence, after all, that his furniture is among the most copied in the world.

Swan chairs by Arne Jacobsen.
Swan chairs by Arne Jacobsen

Image source:https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/2b83c552-c03e-40b4-bba8-f1feccf1f857bysmowblog


TheSwan Chairwas designed for lobby and lounge areas, specifically tailored for the罗亚l Hotel in Copenhagen, in1958, much like its design peer, the famousEgg chair. It’s hard to say when the leap into the residential market was made, but it’s always been a product that seems to blur the line betweencontractualandresidential, resulting in a very versatile, sculptural design with potentially timeless qualities- likely what attracted homeowners all over Europe.

Arne Jacobsen, Drop Chair, SAS Royal Hotel, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Arne Jacobsen, Drop Chair, SAS Royal Hotel, Copenhagen, Denmark

Image source:https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/c3ea5c64-6bcc-4f71-8256-64c9393076f3bybianca.maggio

As one of the first chairs produced under the aegis of “Organic Modernism”, the foam molded frame of the Swan made its mark in design history. The first Swan chairs were based on a wooden frame and then upholstered with springs, natural fibers, fabric etc. ButJacobsen, embracing true modernism, was always open to new technological solutions, and so the avant-garde manufacturing method of the Swan left its footprint, right at the start of the modern furniture-making era.

The process of making a Swan chair spans many days, because the leather has to be wetted and dried first to get the right shape for of the Swan shell; afterwards, many hours are spent into the upholstery process. The mold itself and base are realized by machines, but all of the upholstery (cutting, gluing, stitching) and soft foam work (cutting and gluing) are by hand.

Arne Jacobsen (1902–1971)

Jacobsenbegan training as a mason, before studying at the丹麦皇家美术学院inCopenhagen, where he won a silver medal for a chair competition, whose design was then exhibited at the1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts DecoratifsinParis. Influenced byLe Corbusier,Gunnar AsplundandLudwig Mies van der Rohe, Jacobsen embraced afunctionalistapproach to design from the outset. He was among the first to introduce modernist ideas to Denmark and subsequently create industrial furniture that merged its technological prowess with the country’s craft-based design heritage.

阿恩·埃米尔雅各布森, portrait in black and white.

Image source:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arne_Jacobsen#/media/File:Arne_Jacobsen_photo.jpg

First among Jacobsen’s important architectural commissions was theBellavistahousing project inCopenhagen(1930-1934). His best-known works are theSAS Air Terminaland the罗亚l Hotel Copenhagen, for which Jacobsen designed every detail, from sculptural furnishings such as his elegantSwanandEgg Chairs(1957-1958) to textiles, lighting, ashtrays and cutlery.

Egg and Swan chairs in bright colors.
Egg and Swan chairs designed by Arne Jacobsen

Image source:https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/966719de-b3c5-43fe-b0ba-9e79b67dfe41byLars Plougmann

During the1960s, Jacobsen’s most important work was a unified architectural and interior design scheme forSt. Catherine’s College,Oxford, which, like his earlier work for the Royal Hotel, involved the design of site-specific furniture. Jacobsen’s work remains appealing and fresh today, combining free-form sculptural shapes with the traditional attributes of Scandinavian design, material and structural integrity.

Egg and Swan chairs
Egg and Swan chairs designed by Arne Jacobsen

Image source:https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/d3bc7697-e9ab-4201-82eb-6ebde7d5bd88bySteve Bellamy

The History of Fritz Hansen

Founded in1872in Denmark,Fritz Hansenis one of the world’s most recognizable producers of design furniture, aimed at both public and private spaces. The company’s history is characterized bymeticulous craftsmanship,unique designs, and a sense ofunderstated elegance. Leading architects and furniture designers from all over the world have produced timeless pieces for the company’s collection, which embraces innovative techniques and new materials. Contributors include legendary designers such asArne Jacobsen,Poul Kjaerholm, Bruno Mathsson, Piet Hein,andPiero Lissonias well as young innovators likeKasper Salto, Jaime Hayon, and Todd Bracher.

Swan chairs designed by Arne Jacobsen.
Swan chairs designed by Arne Jacobsen

Image source:https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/859a5ad4-f769-4b89-8142-6cbb56fc5eee

Today,Fritz Hansenfurniture is embraced by a range of global consumers from city dwellers to business executives who celebrate the company’s ability to enlighten and delight with design. Fritz Hansen products can be seen around the world in residences and high-profile corporations, luxury hotels and art centers including the famed SAS Royal HotelinCopenhagenand theMuseum of Modern Art (MoMA)inNew York.

Data Sheet

Designer:Arne Jacobsen


Manufacturer:Fritz Hansen

Materials:Fiberglass-reinforced, polyurethane foam shell; satin-chromed steel swivel; injection-molded aluminum base; fabric or leather upholstery.

Dimensions:H 77 cm W 74 cm D 68 cm Seat H 40 cm

Info sources:






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