The Birth of the Egg™

SAS Royal Egg

The Egg™ Chair is perhaps one of the most famous and iconic chairs in history. Featuring in movies like the Beatles’ film Help!, to Austin Powers and Zoolander, it is definitely one of the most recognizable!  Danish architect Arne Jacobsen’s simultaneously retro and futuristic designs have embedded themselves into popular culture and our everyday life.

It’s not every day that iconic masterpieces in design are born. Follow along as we guide you through the history of the Egg™ chair, and get up close and personal with the craftsmanship that goes into creating each one of these masterpieces of modern design…

Egg Arne Jacobsen

The world's first design hotel

Conceived by Jacobsen in 1958, the Egg™, the Swan™ and the Swan Sofa™ were all designed for the SAS Royal Hotel (now the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Copenhagen) in the center of Copenhagen. Arne Jacobsen was already quite busy as both an architect and as a furniture designer, but as this project was to be the world’s first design hotel, Jacobsen wanted to ensure the interior would ‘wow’ international travelers who would be using the airport terminal and hotel.

SAS Royal hotel lounge 1960

With the strong, straight architectural lines of the façade of the building, Jacobsen wanted to contrast this in the interior of the hotel with a relaxed comfortable style, a grayish-green palette and beautiful organic curves.

Meeting Room Svanen Royal Copenhagen

The birth of the Egg™

Arne Jacobsen first made the shell of chair together with the model builder Sandor Perjesi in his summer house, where they worked on the plaster model; adding and then filing off material in order to find the perfect shape. In the mid-50's Fritz Hansen acquired the rights to manufacture molded upholstered furniture in Styropore, a material perfectly suited to retaining the strength and elegance of Jacobsen’s design. Thus was the Egg™ chair born, and was presented for the first time at the Formes Scandinaves Exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris in November 1958 as part of Jacobsen's proposal for the furnishings for the SAS Royal Hotel.

Royal Copenhagen design sewing

Everything about the Egg™ Chair is unique and the upholstering of the chair is no exception. The stitching is made by hand. No two stitches are ever the same, but follow the rhythm and cadence of the upholsterer as he or she ensures the perfect fit of the material over the shell. We bet you didn’t know that an Egg™ upholstered in fabric has more than 500 handmade stitches - and for a leather Egg™? More than 1,100 stitches!

The base of the Egg™ was originally a one-piece profiled base in aluminum, but since 1975 it has been made in a two-part cylinder base for increased stability and better movement. While the original Egg™ shell was made from Styropore, a modern Egg™ is made from a shell of polyurethane with fiberglass reinforced edges. The shell is padded on the front side with soft foam and on the back side with a layer of wool-cotton. The padded shells can then be upholstered with a variety of fabrics in a numerous different colors and shades to perfectly match any interior.

Egg Swan production 1963

Unsurprisingly, the Egg™ chair’s iconic, lasting design is something we are proud to make available to Radisson Blu guests around the globe. Make sure to find out how the world's first design hotel has been renovated and book your stay at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Copenhagen to experience the Egg chair for yourself.

Interested in design? Read about some more great design stories from Radisson Blu!

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