In 1960, Danish modernist Arne Jacobsen finished his crowning achievement, the Royal Hotel in Copenhagen, designing not only the building itself, but also the furniture, light fixtures, doorknobs, ashtrays, and even the silverware used at the hotel’s restaurant. (The cutlery would later be used as a prop in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.) But Jacobsen’s Gesamtkunstwerk wouldn’t stay intact for long. In the 1980s, new hotel leadership decided to update the building, selling off many of the original furnishings. Now, the Danish design studio Space Copenhagen seeks to breathe life back into Jacobsen’s original aesthetic.
Originally built for Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) with an airline terminal in its base, the Royal Hotel was the world’s first designer hotel and Copenhagen’s first skyscraper. After the original design details were dismantled, for a long time there was just one room, Room 606, that was kept as Jacobsen had originally designed it. Although the rest of what’s known today as the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel was strewn with the architect’s iconic Egg, Swan, and Drop chairs (designed specifically for the hotel), as Hyperallergic’s Hrag Vartanian noted when he visited in 2011, “Perhaps it is because this building and its objects have been copied so many times since it opened over 50 years ago, but the sense of wow this space probably evoked has since dissipated.”
Enter Space Copenhagen, which has been working on an extensive renovation of the Royal Hotel. “In order to re-establish the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel as a design destination, Space Copenhagen dug deep into the hotel’s archives to understand the spirit and intent of Jacobsen’s original scheme,” the studio wrote in a recent press release. “Through this understanding, Space Copenhagen have modernized the hotel’s interiors, whilst carefully preserving the original design.”
As part of the renovation, Space Copenhagen has put a modern twist on Jacobsen’s original design, re-upholstering his iconic chairs in hues of grey, brown, and black (forgoing the original shades of green), as well as adding some new design elements of its own while working closely with Fritz Hansen, the same furniture-maker Jacobsen used in the 1950s. The design studio has already finished renovations of the ground floor, lobby, restaurant, bar, meeting rooms, and several guest rooms. The remaining rooms are scheduled for completion this spring. While we wait for Space Copenhagen’s final touches, we offer you a brief tour of what Jacobsen’s functional modernist masterpiece has looked like over the years.
MTV’s The Exhibit Is Back With an Inflatable Dolphin
Episode four, in which artists tackled themes of justice and injustice, was the most lifeless of the reality TV show so far.
Florida Principal Ousted Over “Pornographic” Michelangelo Sculpture
Parents complained that the famous sculpture was shown to their sixth graders.
The Milton Resnick and Pat Passlof Foundation Presents The Feminine in Abstract Painting
Curated by Jennifer Samet and Andrea Belag, this group exhibition in NYC explores the feminine through aesthetics, as opposed to identity or gender.
Tickets to Sold-Out Vermeer Show Are Going for Hundreds
The online resale market for the Rijksmuseum’s smash exhibition is booming, with tickets selling on eBay for over $2K.
NYU Steinhardt Opens 2023 MFA Thesis Exhibitions
Taking place at 80WSE Gallery in New York’s Greenwich Village, Part I is on view from late March through April while Part II opens in May.
Miniature Worlds: Joseph Cornell, Ray Johnson, Yayoi Kusama
Through small-scale works, this exhibition at the Katonah Museum of Art in New York examines Cornell’s prominent role in the lives and careers of Johnson and Kusama.
Three Looted Antiquities at the Met Repatriated to Turkey
Nine other repatriated works were seized from Met Trustee Shelby White, whose collection was subject to a criminal investigation.
This week, the world’s lightest paint, Pakistan’s feminist movement, World Puppy Day, and were some of Vermeer’s paintings created by his daughter?
The Wider World and Scrimshaw
On March 28, join the New Bedford Whaling Museum online and in-person for a symposium on global carving traditions from across the Pacific Rim.
Who Will Decide on the Future of a Miami Native Burial Ground?
Native activists say sacred remains and objects dug up from a Brickell construction site should remain there, but mega-developer Jorge Pérez is pushing back.
How Can a Curator Approach South Asian Futurisms?
How do I acknowledge my shortcomings while reckoning with obscured histories and the exclusion of subaltern narratives in the fine art landscape? A working checklist for curators.
MCA Chicago Presents On Stage: Frictions
Will Rawls, Shamel Pitts | TRIBE, and Barak adé Soleil explore Blackness, queerness, movement, and dance in performances at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.
The Complicated Legacy of Camilo Egas
The Ecuadorian painter, a leading figure of Latin America’s Indigenismo art movement, has been both praised and scorned for his representation of Indigenous peoples.
Tom Jones Zeroes in on Ho-Chunk Visibility
“I think about the young kids, the teenagers, and I think being able to see yourself represented in art is so powerful,” says the artist.