The Drop

The Drop
The Drop

Originally designed forSAS Royal Hotel

The Drop
The simple lines of the Drop chair made it an ideal fit for the modern, international environment, Arne Jacobsen created at the SAS Royal Hotel.
SAS Royal Hotel
Arne Jacobsen
Room 606 at SAS Royal Hotel, which has been restored to look like Arne Jacobsen's original design. Photo: Norm Architects.

Arne Jacobsen designed the Drop chair as part of the famous total design that he created at the SAS Royal Hotel (now Radisson Collection Royal Hotel) in 1960. While several designs from the hotel were put into production for the general market, for many years the Drop only existed in the small series that was produced for the hotel. However, in 2014, the design was relaunched by Fritz Hansen.

The simple and iconic shape of the Drop clearly marks it as intended for the modern, international environment at the SAS Royal Hotel. Here it was used in the hotel rooms, among other places, as a small, elegant seat at the dressing table. Like the Egg, the Swan and many of the other pieces of furniture, fittings and other objects Arne Jacobsen created for the hotel, the Drop has a free, organic form and simple lines that have, by now, made it a  modern furniture classic.


Two versions of the Drop: The original upholstered model and the new model from 2014 with seat and back in plastic. Photo: Stjernegaard Fotografi

Like the Egg and the Swan, the Drop is a result of Arne Jacobsen’s use of a new technological approach that furniture manufacturer Fritz Hansen had bought the rights to in the mid 1950s. Using the new technology, furniture could be shaped freely in a hard foam material that was subsequently padded and upholstered. This liberated the design process from the technical restrictions imposed by more traditional materials. Arne Jacobsen explained how he used clay and plaster in his development of furniture models, gradually arriving at the solution like a sculptor perfecting a work of art. This new technology and Arne Jacobsen’s artistic approach to design hold the key to the unique sculptural expression that made his furniture designs so pivotal when they were created during the late 1950s.

The Drop
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The restaurant on the main floor of the SAS Royal Hotel, where the Drop was used in a version with bronzed legs and brown leather upholstery, 1960. Photo: Aage Strüwing © Jørgen Strüwing.

The simple and iconic shape of the Drop clearly marks it as intended for the modern, international environment at the SAS Royal Hotel.

While the Egg and the Swan were put into standard production, the Drop chair was only produced in a small series strictly for use at the SAS Royal Hotel. Here, the chairs were part of the comprehensive total design in which Arne Jacobsen designed everything, down to the room key and the restaurant cutlery. While the hotel architecture was defined by rectangular precision and streamlined minimalism, the interior was a rich display of materials, patterns, colours and furniture in soft, organic shapes.

The Drop was used in the rooms alongside the Egg and the Swan – all upholstered in a fabric of mixed greys that was part of Arne Jacobsen’s detailed and specific design of the hotel’s colour scheme. A special model of the Drop with brown leather upholstery and bronzed legs was used in the snack bar behind the conservatory on the ground floor. Suspended above the tables, the AJ Pendant lamp in copper completed the perfectly balanced expression.


Sources: Arne Jacobsen Design Archives. / Sheridan, M. (2003). Room 606: The SAS House and the Work of Arne Jacobsen. London: Phaidon Press / Stenum Poulsen, K., Skaarup Larsen, A., & Staunsager, S. (2020). Arne Jacobsen – Designing Denmark. Kolding: Trapholt.  / Thau, C., & Vindum, K. (1998). Arne Jacobsen. Copenhagen: Danish Architectural Press.

Room 606 at SAS Royal Hotel. Photo: Norm Architects.
Room at SAS Royal Hotel, 1960. Photo: Aage Strüwing © Jørgen Strüwing.
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