a series of posts on the architecture of Arne Jacobsen


The National Bank of Denmark, Havnegade 5, Copenhagen - winning design in the closed competition of 1961, built in two phases and completed in 1978

Arne Jacobsen was the most important and the most innovative Danish architect and designer of the 20th century. Certainly he has a well-established International reputation but perhaps some do not automatically associate the work of Jacobsen with the idea of innovation, in part because many of his buildings are well-known and familiar and probably half the homes in Denmark have at least one Jacobsen chair but also because we are all now so used to seeing buildings that are taller, bigger, more exciting or more dramatic. That is unfair … obviously it's not, to use an English phrase, a case of familiarity breeding contempt but his buildings have to be seen and judged in the context of the period through which he lived. It is then that you can see just how innovative and important his buildings and his furniture designs really were.

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