| Designbest editorial staff

T

hroughout the years, artists and designers have been able to transform even the most commonplace objects into truly magical pieces. This is precisely the case of the “egg shape”, which has been referenced in many different ways. One above all? The Egg chair. 

The Egg chair was designed in 1958 by Arne Jacobsen for the Danish brand Fritz Hansen. Even if truly iconic, it has often been mistaken for the Egg armchair, its namesake by Nanna Ditzel for Bonacina. However, the Egg chair, drawn by Arne Jacobsen, was designed having a specific place in mind: the lobby of the S.A.S Royal Hotel, Copenhagen. 

Jacobsen wanted to design an extremely comfortable chair, which hugged people like a warm embrace. And this could not have been inspired by anything other than a shell, an egg shell to me more precise: it hugs the body, it shades you from indiscreet eyes, it gives a sense of privacy, even in a public space with constant pedestrian traffic. “People need a sofa which will hug them”, Arne Jacobsen must have thought while looking for the ideal balance between form and lightness, following the guiding principles of the Bauhaus movement. It has often been said that Jacobsen found his inspiration by staring at the Womb Chair, designed a couple of years earlier by Eero Saarinen: people need an “egg” armchair where they can snuggle up and hide away from the world.    

Egg has no corners or sharp edges. It looks like his pencil slid along a path of gentle curves and winding lines, in a constant search for total well-being. Egg was an instant hit; it has that sense of “motherly protection” we all crave for and enjoy. Its main features? A extra-high back which hides your head and which you can move up-and-down; ergonomic armrests which follow the contours of your body and a “cocoon” seat, originally upholstered in soft leather and subsequently also brought into production in fabric. 

Sure enough, Arne Jacobsen has revolutionised the idea of total relaxation. Egg mixes extreme comfort and futuristic design with an innate sense for sophistication. This is a true design icon. Egg is also known for its ground-breaking material research and experimentation: structural fibreglass frame and polyurethane foam a, feet in aluminium. In fact, we aren't at all surprised that even now, Egg is considered one of the pillars of modern design; extremely current and unique, never finishing to amaze us. 

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