Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Copenhagen, Denmark

Arne Jacobsen
Date Built
Vesterbrogade & Hammerichsgade
The Radisson Blu Royal Hotel occupies the corner of Vesterbrogade and Hammerichsgade in Copenhagen's city centre across from the Tivoli Gardens.  It is made up of a 2 storey podium block above which a curtain wall tower rises to 69.6 metres.  At the top of the tower the letters SAS are an indication that, when it was built, the owner was the airline Scandinavian Airlines System and it was the SAS Royal Hotel.  The building changed hands in 1994.

This is an example of a building in which the designer, Arne Jacobsen had a hand in every aspect of the project from the structure to the decoration and the furniture  He even designed the cutlery for the restaurant.  While the outside remains unchanged, apart from the signage, the inside has retained little of its original appearance.

As with many big building, this one has had its detractors and it has been compared to a giant punch card and to a glass cigar box.  It has also been suggested that the design was a bad copy of the Lever Building in New York, shown below.

Apparently when accused of this by the promoter of the international style, Philip C. Johnson,  Jacobsen responded: "At least, it came in first when they held a competition for the ugliest building in Copenhagen."

Licensing for the image of the Lever Building shown above.


Lever House at 390 Park Avenue between East 53rd and 54th Streets in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, was built in 1950-52 and was designed by Gordon Bunshaft of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in the International style. In 2003, the curtain wall was replaced, designed by SM&O. It has 21 floors and is 307 feet tall. (Sources: AIA Guide to NYC (5th ed.) and [1])

Source Own work
Author Beyond My Ken

Camera location

40° 45′ 30.62″ N, 73° 58′ 20.91″ W

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