Hotel Alexandra in Copenhagen is a cornucopia, brimming with masterpieces from renowned Danish furniture designers – all the rooms and public spaces are pure retro heaven.
“More than fifteen years ago, we started collecting classic Danish furniture, today our sixtyone rooms are a tribute to the masters, each furnished differently,” says Jeppe Mühlhausen, the General Manager.
During the late 1950s Danish architects such as Børge Mogensen, Arne Jacobsen, Finn Juhl, Hans J. Wegner, Ole Wancher and Poul Kjærholm established what is known as Danish Modern. A novel style of Danish furniture design, it championed the aesthetics of modern simplicity combined with unwavering craftsmanship and quality.
Standing up front and centre with more than 500 chair designs to his credit, architect Hans J. Wegner is considered the beacon for introducing Danish furniture to the world. ‘The Chair’ that he designed for John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon’s first ever televised presidential debate, made him into an icon. Taking inspiration from that era, set designer Camilla Bjørnvad who was overseeing the redesign of twenty-two rooms, has created a décor inspired by architect Finn Juhl, where every piece has been painstakingly researched and tailor-made.
Twenty-one of the sixty-one rooms on the other hand, showcase the indefinable spirit of the 1960s. Rooms are unapologetically multicoloured with textured textiles and ceramics from the early 60’s. The Verner Panton Suite is a tribute to the man commended with the design of the very first one piece, mass produced, plastic chair – the Stacking Chair or the ’S’ chair, as its known. Danish design classics by the man himself can be enjoyed in this room from the celebrated Panton Chair, Easy Chairs 1-2-3, Globe Lamp, Flower Pot Lamp and Panthella lamp.
Hotel Alexandra also has a room furbished in the epitome of the 1970s, with furniture made of light cheap wood (just like many Danish homes at that time) and a colour palette of brown, green and red. Products like the PH lamp 4/3 in orange aluminium, a Børge Mogensen wooden sofa, the 600 chair andJørgen Bækmark’s couch tables can all be found juxtaposed against the sea-grass carpet, lambskin and woven pine baskets.
Jens Risom, FORM portfolios and Lise Beckmann have also designed the new Risom room at the hotel. One of Denmark’s most internationally successful designers, Risom helped launch the world famous furniture company Knoll. “We originally found inspiration in his summer house and selected upholstered cozy pieces. We also wanted to add a vintage 654 webbed strapping chair, as it is Jens Risom’s most iconic design, as well as one of his early magazine tables,” says stylist Lise Beckmann.
Other pieces guests can use in the room are the A 742 desk originally designed in 1968 for his own home, the C275 chair that goes with it and even an original Playboy magazine from 1961 with an article on Risom!
Then there’s the Collector’s Suite at Hotel Alexandra which has been put together by Anders Petersen and General Manager Jeppe Mühlhausen. Reinterpreted four times a year, this suite will be re-designed to feature curated vintage pieces with all the items up for sale. At the moment ,The Collector’s Suite has a 70s vibe with a large glass carboy for wine-making, an American pop colour scheme, Kjeld Jensen paintings and an overall straight forward design.
‘We see the Hotel Alexandra as a fun and rewarding way to introduce our guests to our Danish design treasures. In Denmark, we are known for actually using our design furniture. It’s not just put on display like precious sculptures in our living rooms; it is put to use as living history in ordinary Danish homes. That is an experience I would like to share with our hotel guests,’ concludes General Manager Anders Petersen.
Text By Natalie Pedder-Bajaj
Photographs Courtesy The Hotel