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Celebrating 50 years of a design deity

Press release February 8, 2010 Homes & Gardens

– The launch of Arne Jacobsen’s AJ Lamps in new colors from his color palette, on display at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Copenhagen

AJ 50 table lamp
Table lamp

Louis Poulsen commemorates the 50-year anniversary of Arne Jacobsen’s iconic AJ lamps with the launch of 5 new colors based on Jacobsen’s color concept. Each variant is there for you to experience in 5 separate rooms at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Copenhagen. A living monument to this design legacy.

Considered one of the most influential Danish architects and designers of the 20th century and a name synonymous with Danish modernism, Arne Jacobsen’s sense of purity and simplicity is readily recognizable in everything he designed – from entire buildings, furniture, accessories and fabrics to the lighting fixtures – in an impressive career spanning 50 years.

Jacobsen’s designs are an inspiring lesson in geometry, expressed in his streamlined style. Impeccable sense of proportion. And clever interplay between lines, angles, circles and cylinders. He insisted on the absence of any extraneous elements in his desire to create visual harmony and tranquility. In terms of colors, Jacobsen preferred soft tones and hues, which didn’t attract attention. In his opinion, the presence of an object should never stand out in any way or interfere with your experience. In fact, he saw interiors in much the same way as he saw buildings, where the entire ambience of a room was seen as an entity.

The AJ series of lamps is the perfect expression of Jacobsen’s purist design mindset. Designed in 1960 for the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Copenhagen, formally known as the SAS Royal Hotel, the asymmetric conical shape of the fixture head clearly delineates the direction of the light. In other words, you can imagine the light before it’s even switched on, because the light design is already built into the lamp. Constructed with a tilt mechanism and designed to appear flush with the lamp holder, the light emitted follows the form to perfection.

A favorite among architects and design aficionados alike, the AJ family of lamps are the focus of Louis Poulsen’s launch in conjunction with the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, as the lamps and the hotel are celebrating their 50-year anniversary this year. Along with Jacobsen’s Swan and Egg chairs.

Five new hues from Jacobsen’s color universe

"In our search for color inspiration, we contacted Fritz Hansen who let us see some examples of their Arne Jacobsen color scales together with some old textile samples for the Swan and the Egg chair," explains Claus Østergaard, International Marketing Manager at Louis Poulsen.

"Jacobsen seemed not too keen on strong colors. He used textiles as curtains, which filtered the daylight into the room so the overall lighting became softer, calmer. We tested the colors we received from Fritz Hansen and chose the 5 most feasible ones, which could easily blend into any décor. You can see the same colors in many of Jacobsen’s fabrics and in the watercolor paintings he worked on as a hobby," adds Østergaard.

Joining Østergaard in this launch concept is Pia Knudsen, Business Area Manager, Residential at Louis Poulsen. Knudsen points out that Louis Poulsen "tried several times to make this lighting family in different materials and surfaces, but we have never been satisfied. We’ve still kept the black, white and graphite grey colors and the same silky matt surface, which is so elegant. Glossy would have been wrong. We’ve gone through numerous processes to obtain such a soothing, subdued effect for the desk, floor and wall versions of the AJ lamp."

The 5 new colors are muted hues named after the rooms in which they will each appear at Copenhagen’s Radisson SAS Royal Hotel as of the 1st of March 2010. On the 18th floor of the hotel, you’ll find them in newly, renovated double rooms and suites selected according to which color would blend in best. Choose the color you prefer most in room 1805, 1806, 1808, 1809 or 1810 and spend the night surrounded by the spirit of a design mastermind.

But there’s another interesting angle to this move honoring 5 decades of design

The new General Manager of the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Roy Al Kappenberger, was born on the 18th floor. Kappenberger is the son of the Swiss hotel manager who collaborated with Jacobsen during the building of the hotel. He remembers running around the hotel as a child dressed in an apprentice uniform. He also recalls a host of illustrious guests, from members of the royal family and political dignitaries to film celebrities and rock stars, who have all stayed at what is known as the world’s first designer hotel. "Jacobsen was a visionary. A genius who was truly ahead of his time," says Kappenberger. From the design of the hotel building itself to the sweeping spiral staircase and infamous Swan and Egg chairs to all the details of the interior décor down to the drawers, doorknobs and stainless steel cutlery, Jacobsen created a unified brand experience back in 1960. He ushered in a whole new visual vernacular for mid-century modern design. In doing so, he re-defined our sense of luxury at the time. From opulent, ornate and pretentious to understated elegance.

According to Kappenberger, "Jacobsen left his indelible mark on the design DNA of our hotel. For me, it’s an imperative to keep his design lineage alive." To that end, Room 606 is the only one of 275 rooms left unchanged. Like a miniature museum, it’s a tribute to Jacobsen’s enduring sense of aesthetics.

The new AJ lamps will be available in 5 colors in a total of 5 rooms celebrating 5 decades of sublime simplicity. Housed in a monument to Jacobsen’s vision of the future: a 5-star design masterpiece. This is your opportunity to choose the hue you’re in the mood for in a new icon of ingenuity by the master of minimalism. In living color.

For more information and to order the new AJ lamps directly, you are welcome to contact:

Louis Poulsen
Marketing Manager Claus Oestergaard phone +45 40 60 40 92
Business Area Manager Pia Knudsen phone +45 22 69 87 01
Gammel Strand 28
DK-1202 Copenhagen K



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