Design Field Notes

Design Field Notes

Design Field Notes

Interior spaces

Room 606: Celebrating Modern Design

Having Danish heritage I have always had a keen interest in the world of Scandinavian design, where they believe ordinary objects should be beautiful, that design should enhance everyday life, and that good design should be accessible to all.

Danish architect Arne Jacobsen certainly followed this design philosophy. He created interiors for daily life – dissolving the boundaries between architecture, interior and industrial design.

Perhaps the best example of this is The SAS House hotel, built for the Scandinavian Airlines System in Copenhagen in 1960, and often considered Arne Jacobsen's masterwork.  The SAS House represented the pinnacle of his achievements, for which Jacobsen had designed every detail, from the exterior façade through to the new furniture, such as the now famous Egg and Swan chairs, fabrics, fixtures and even the silverware used in the restaurant.

The rooms were clean and abstract, without excessive decoration – an elegant ensemble of colours, materials, and forms. Every object and each function in the rooms was considered not only to create a harmonious whole, but also to respond to the way modern people live, work, dress, and even sleep.

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A modular system of built-in paneling and cantilevered tables allowed for flexibility within the space.  The furnishings could be rearranged according to the needs of each guest and encompassed everything from a desk with drawers that open up to reveal a makeup mirror to the bed’s backboard, as well as ingenious inventions such as rail mounted adjustable reading lamps.

50 years on and the SAS House has been completely redeveloped.  Only room 606 has been carefully preserved and remains identical to Jacobsen’s original commission.

An unparalleled example of modern architecture and design and a must for Arne Jacobsen fans, Room 606 still functions as a regular guestroom and is available for overnight stays.  With it’s grey, blue-green colours, wengé timber paneling and a selection of the most representative furniture designed for the hotel, this room takes its visitors to another time and place, yet still manages to seem relevant today, the hallmark of truly great design.

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Caitlan N