The SAS Hotel

An architectural gem


The Royal Hotel and airport terminal for SAS, today called the SAS Hotel", were built in 1955-60 on Hammerichsgade 1-5 by architect Arne Jacobsen. It was the first high-rise block in central Copenhagen and its location provoked a great deal of concern. Since then, …

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Time / Periode 1964
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Arne Jacobsen fled Denmark for Sweden during the Second World War, but his architecture did not follow until some years later. While he was working on Copenhagen’s SAS Royal Hotel, he won an architectural competition in Sweden to build a new city hall, library and sports hall in Landskrona. Neither the city hall nor the library were realised, but the sports hall was completed on the outskirts of the city in 1964. Whereas the towering SAS Royal Hotel was Copenhagen’s first ”skyscraper”, Jacobsen’s Swedish work extended horizontally. The sports hall consists of an excavated plateau, with a two-metre high roof ”floating” above it. The roof is supported by ten slimline steel pillars. The horizontal look is offset by the verticals of the slender tree trunks in the woods nearby. The sports court is submerged three metres below the floor, and the spectator seating is built into the sides of the depression as in an amphitheatre. The changing rooms are located on the same basement level. The roof contains heating, ventilation and lighting installations. As in the SAS Royal Hotel, the roof’s grid structure is clad in enamelled steel panels. The floating roof and the horizontal layout are stylistic motifs typical of international Modernism. One might say that the impressiveness of the sports centre’s simple composition exemplifies architect Mies van der Rohe’s famous saying that ”Less is more”.

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International modernism in Copenhagen

Arne Jacobsen's modernistic hotel was built using the newest techniques. The glass facades…

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Arne Jacobsen fled Denmark for Sweden during the Second World War, but his architecture did not…

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