Danish Design: Classic modern style via Neo-Classicism and Art Nouveau
(SAS) Radisson Blue Royal Hotel
Hi, and welcome to our Danish design tour. I'm Kay Xander Mellish, the author of "How to Live in Denmark". You are standing outside the lobby of Arne Jacobsen's SAS Hotel, now called the Radisson Blue Royal, which was completed in 1958. Walk in and look around the lobby while I tell you about Arne Jacobsen.
Arne Jacobsen is a name that's spoken in hushed tones in Denmark. He's considered an originator of what we now know as Danish design - smooth, simple, organic, practical and beautiful.
Arne Jacobsen created everything for this hotel, right down to the silverware for the restaurants. Look around the lobby, and you'll see Arne's famous Egg Chairs and Swan Chairs. These are icons of Danish design. Try them out. They're beautiful but very comfortable, too. Don't worry, this is a public space, you can even have a drink at the bar - maybe not yet, or you'll miss the rest of the tour. Anyway, you'll notice the barstools are Arne's famous Ant chair.
Now, personally, I think Arne is a better furniture designer than architect. You can see some of my least favorite things about postwar architecture in this lobby, like the very low ceilings, and the poor use of natural light.
Check out the hanging lamps by the check-in desk, by the way - they're not by Arne Jacobsen, but we'll talk about them later.
This hotel has been renovated many times since 1958. But if you're in the mood for a splurge, you can book yourself into room 606, which has all the original Arne Jacobsen furniture. That furniture is very valuable, by the way - it's one of the top targets for thieves in Denmark. They check real estate listings to see who has a Swan chair, and then it's gone the next day.
When you're done enjoying the lobby, go out through the door you came in. Then, facing away from the hotel, turn right. Walk towards the building that says ANK in big white letters.