The History of Iconic Design and Radisson Blu

When the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel (then the SAS Royal Hotel), opened in 1960, it was in many ways a first. It was the first skyscraper in Copenhagen and the highest building in Scandinavia at that time. It was the first hotel of the now global hotel chain Radisson Blu. And last but not least, it was the world’s first design hotel.

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Designed by the Danish architect Arne Jacobsen in 1955. Arne Jacobsen was very productive both as an architect (some of his buildings include the SAS Royal Hotel, St. Catherine's College, Rødovre City Hall and the Danish National Bank amongst others) and as a furniture designer (The Ant™, Series 7™, the Lily™, the Egg™ & the Swan™ and the Oxford™).


What made the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel ahead of its time, was Jacobsen’s idea to be involved in the design throughout the entire hotel. From the exterior façade to the stainless-steel cutlery used in the restaurant and the Swan™ and Egg™ chairs gracing the lobby – was designed by famous Danish architect. In fact, the hotel is often referred to as Jacobsen's ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’ or total work of art. A single room has been kept in the original design as a sort of ‘living museum’ to the great architect and designer. It has all of the original furniture and wood panels on the wall. What’s even better is that this room, number 606, is still available for booking for those who want to get up close and personal with design history.


So what makes the 606 so unique? This room is a lovingly preserved ‘time capsule’ of Jacobsen’s modern design and a showplace for some of his most well-known products, including his “Egg™,” “Swan™,” and “Drop™” chairs. The room even includes some of the furniture meant for the SAS air terminal spaces, like the “3300™” couch. Not only did Jacobsen careful consider the aesthetics of his design, but of its functionality as well. For example, the bedside tables have two heights and the lamps are all positioned on tracks that allow our guests to move them to where they need them most.


Can’t manage to book room 606? Don’t worry design devotees! There’s still plenty of Jacobsen’s design touches scattered about the common areas of the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel. The lobby especially is a treasure trove of design icons with its signature spiral staircase, conversation circles of “Egg™” and “Swan™” chairs, and mid-century bar.


To this day, all new Radisson Blu hotels are designed in close cooperation with top architects and designers with a focus on making the hotels stand out as iconic, stylish and sophisticated as Arne Jacobsen’s masterpiece in Copenhagen. See more about the evolution of the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Copenhagen here or visit our Pinterest board for inspiring design images.

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