Danish architect and designer. One of the major figures of Scandinavian architecture, he introduced the ideas of the modernist pioneers Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe into Denmark, developing an elegant form of the international style that draws on the strong Scandinavian tradition of craft and design.
Early work Born in Copenhagen, Jacobsen studied at the Architectural College of the Academy of Art there, graduating in 1927, and set up in private practice 1930. His first works were uncompromisingly modern, their unadorned abstract forms derived from Mies van der Rohe. In his seaside development at Bellevue Lido, a northern suburb of Copenhagen, 1931–37, he built cabins, apartments, stables, restaurants, and a theatre, to create the first Modern Movement environment. Another important work of this period was the Town Hall, Århus (in collaboration with Erik Møller) 1937–42. During World War II he moved to Sweden, where he began designing fabrics and wallpaper – he was later to design every detail of the furniture and fittings for many of his works.
Later work The works he designed on his return to Denmark just after the war show the strong influence of US architecture, particularly in his use of curtain-walls, as in the Rødovre Town Hall 1955, and Copenhagen's first skyscraper, the huge steel-and-glass Scandinavian Airlines System Royal Hotel 1958–60. From the 1960s he received several international commissions, the most important being St Catherine's College, Oxford, England 1961–65; the Town Hall, Mainz, Germany 1970–73 (in collaboration with Otto Weitling); and the Danish Embassy, London (in collaboration with Otto Weitling and H Dissing).
Interior design Like his architecture, the interior designs he created for his projects – wallpapers, fabrics, furniture, ornaments, even cutlery – exhibit a severely modern style characterized by an elegant economy of form.
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