In 1964, Arne Jacobsen had his main international breakthrough with the design of St. Catherine’s College in Oxford. In his design of the new university college, Arne Jacobsen combined Oxford’s long history with new and innovative buildings and grounds.
In a comment on the project, Arne Jacobsen said, ‘I have attempted to build on the traditions I encountered at Oxford but sought to translate them into a modern expression. I don’t see how one could do anything else. As a foreigner, one has an obligation to adhere to the customs and traditions that exist, but on the other hand, I also think one has an obligation to translate them into a modern idiom. Otherwise, one might end up with, in my opinion, the very worst outcome, which is a pastiche, a sad copy of something old.’
This year, St Catherine’s College in Oxford celebrates its 60th anniversary. To mark the occasion, the college hosted a one-day conference on 27 August to explore Arne Jacobsen’s work at St Catherine’s, both in its 1960s context and from the perspective of its present-day influence in Britain and Denmark. The conference included talks by former employees of Arne Jacobsen’s studio, architectural historians and Tobias Jacobsen, who is the grandson of Arne Jacobsen and a co-founder of Arne Jacobsen Design.
At St. Catherine’s College, Arne Jacobsen not only designed the architecture but also the interior, the furnishings and the grounds. Read more about the comprehensive project here.