Anyone who is interested in Midcentury Modern will recognize the silhouette of the Swan chair immediately; its fluid form and distinguished shape is often imitated but never duplicated. Even those without a background in design may find it familiar, as the chair has become somewhat of a staple in public spaces and a symbol in pop culture.
But what makes this seat so special?
It was the commission to design the lobby and lounge areas of the Royal Hotel in Copenhagen that led Danish designer Arne Jacobsen to bring the Swan chair to life in 1958. The equally iconic Drop and Egg Chairs were also designed and developed for this very special project.
Back then, The Swan Chair was a technologically innovative piece of furniture: no straight lines, only curves. A molded shell sits on an aluminum star swivel base, with a layer of cold foam covered the upholstered shell. The chair requires great craftsmanship and time to manufacture, precisely cutting select hides and hand sewing the upholstery.
It originated in Jacobsen’s own garage at his home just north of Copenhagen, but would soon — and ever since — be manufactured by the renowned Republic of Fritz Hansen. Today, the Swan chair is available in countless fabric and leather options to suit any residential, commercial or public space.
Where would your Swan Chair sit?