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Egg Chair

Updated on February 28, 2010

The egg chair is a classic piece of 50's and 60's furniture, in fact you can still see examples today. Most people, when they think of egg chairs think of the Austin Powers movie. Kind of like something you'd see Dr. Evil sit in or something that would be right at home in groovy bachelor pad. The classic egg chair though, isn't the enclosed egg shape that most people think of. Even though it seems typical 60's it was originally designed in 1958 for the SAS Radisson in Copenhagen, by Danish designer Arne Jacobson. Ever the perfectionist he also designed the cutlery, and sink fixtures for the hotel too. Not just content with the egg chair he also designed several other chairs, the Swan also for the SAS hotel, and the Ant and Model 3107. The And and 3107 were actually inspired (some say copied) by chair designs by Charles Eames. There is a model called the garden egg chair which has that groovy 60's look.

Arne Jacobson designed many building in the style known as Danish modern, both in Denmark and around the world, if fact the Danish embassy in London was a Jacobson design, although he died while it was being designed. His SAS hotel design is thought of as classic Danish modern inspired by the Lever House in New York City, but at the time was not universally loved. It was called by a former associate of Jacobsen the glass cigar box. Jacobsen himself said: "At least, it came in first when they held a competition for the ugliest building in Copenhagen." The SAS hotel has been updated except for room 606. If you'd like to see the what the hotel originally looked like when it was open you can still stay in room 606.  It's exactly as it was when the hotel was opened, from the minty green walls to the original egg chairs.  It's almost like stepping back in time to a 60's hotel room.

Room 606 Royal SAS

The egg chair in it's natural setting.
The egg chair in it's natural setting.
by Larsz via Flickr
by Larsz via Flickr

As mentioned, the retro egg chair, is actually not the egg shaped chair one usually thinks of, it's a design that remains popular even today. You can still see it in offices and reception room to this day. Of course you can't get the original Arne Jacobson egg chair, (not without spending a lot of money) by you can get an egg chair replica reproduction by several different companies. If you don't want to pay for an original or reproduction, which can also be pricey, you can find egg chair inspired models from different makers. IKEA has several chairs that are inspired by the Danish modern look. The IKEA egg chair isn't an exact copy of the egg chair but inspired by that look. In fact you can even find a wicker egg chair if that's more your style. If you're wondering what Danish modern looks like then just think of IKEA's more modern chairs and sofas. The classic streamlined modern look that became popular in the 1950's extended it's popularity until the 1970's. The look fell out of fashion in the 80's but is making a comeback because it's clean lined, simple and current looking even though the style is over 50 years old. This “mid century modern” got it's inspiration from the “Art Moderne” style which was thought to peak in 1937. Because the egg chair (and the swan chair) has become a classic, you can use it without it seeming dated. So if you've got a penchant for modern design and love the look of that mid century modern then maybe an egg chair would be the perfect addition to your house or office.

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