Arne Jacobsen designed the Egg chair – and Swan chair – in 1958 as part of a larger commission to design every aspect of The Royal Hotel in Copenhagen. The chair features exclusively soft curves and no straight lines. It was made using a new technique that Arne Jacobsen was the first to adopt involving a strong foam inner shell that sits underneath the upholstery.
The foam provides the chair’s comfort as well as the unique surface shape. Arne Jacobsen developed the chair in his garage at his home, using clay models. He eventually arrived at the shape we know so well today. The Egg Chair was intended for the lounge and lobby areas of the Royal Hotel hotel, where the characteristic shape of the Egg chair offers the user some privacy in otherwise very public places.
The seat cushion wasn’t part of the original design but was added later. Other later additions include the new foot and base put into production in 1974, replacing the solid mould four pronged foot and base. The shell was also eventually made using fiberglass and the chair was given a tilt function operated by a discrete level below the seat.
The Egg chair’s distinctive shape hasn’t changed and it remains one of the most recognisable designs – used frequently to add timeless sophistication to adverts, film sets – not to mention people’s homes. When Arne Jacobsen set out to design the Egg chair for the Royal Hotel project it had a function to perform. No one knew at the time that the Egg chair would go on to become a modern design icon the world over – and a symbol for Danish design.