Identity
The Swan chair Image Credit: Identity
The Swan chair Image Credit: Identity

The Swan Chair

As curvaceous and elegant as the bird it takes its name from, Arne Jacobsen’s Swan chair has been gracing hotels, homes and offices for 60 years now

Max Tuttle

In 1960 the SAS Royal Hotel opened in Copenhagen, yet this was far from just another new building. The project was unusual in that Arne Jacobsen had been tasked with designing the entire hotel, including everything in it – leading to the creation of what critics have called “the world’s first ‘designer hotel”.

While several of the pieces in the hotel were one-off designs, others made it into production – and several of these are still made today.

Visitors to the lobby of the SAS Royal Hotel (now the Radisson Collection Hotel) would have quickly noticed the modern chairs inviting them to sit – the Egg and the (shorter) Swan. While most of Jacobsen’s furniture has since been replaced in the hotel, Swan and its contemporary products can still be enjoyed by guests staying in Room 606, which has been kept in original format, including the wood wall panels and green versions of the signature furniture pieces.

Created two years before the SAS Royal opened, Swan immediately stood apart from other chairs thanks to its curvaceous form which combines a deep seat with high armrests that wrap around the occupant.

The lack of straight lines meant that Swan was a technologically advanced product at its time of launch, matching diverse materials which sat on top of a star-shaped satin polished aluminium base.

The Swan chair and the Swan sofa have bee


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