‘If a building becomes architecture, then it is art.’ So said Danish architect and designer Arne Jacobsen (1902-1971).

While he’s best known for his pioneering chairs – his Drop, Swan and Egg designs of the late 1950s are held in Museum collections around the world, and are still in production today – Jacobsen was also a key contributor to the Functionalist architecture movement.

Jacobsen conjured elegant designs for a broad sweep of structures, from lifeguard towers and kiosks in Copenhagen to hotels, banks and St Catherine’s College at Oxford University. ‘I don’t see that any buildings should be excluded from the term architecture, as long as they are done properly.’

Here are five of his most ‘proper’ projects, on what would have been his 114th birthday.



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