Room 606: The SAS House and the Work of Arne Jacobsen
This text reconstructs a building that no longer exists, in order to rediscover a lost world of beauty and sensation and gain a new insight into the work of Danish architect Arne Jacobsen. That building is the SAS House, a luxury hotel and airline terminal completed in Copenhagen in 1960. Designed for the Scandinavian Airlines System at the dawn of the jet age, the SAS House was Jacobsen's masterpiece, a cumulative work that condensed the architectural strategies and formal devices of a lifetime into a single example of total design. The SAS House has been reduced to a shadow of its original condition. While the building is still used as a hotel and ticketing office, the distinctive interiors and fixtures that were an integral part of Jacobsen's masterwork have been discarded or altered beyond recognition. However, on the sixth floor of the hotel tower, a single guest room remains in its original condition, with the built-in woodwork, furniture, custom fabrics and surfaces that Jacobsen created for the 275 rooms of the SAS Royal Hotel. Room 606 is a microcosm of the larger building, and, examined in detail, provides the key to understanding the SAS House and, by extension, the underlying themes of Jacobsen's entire career. This book presents a very distinct way of looking at an architect's work, using the time capsule room 606 as a lens through which to examine Jacobsen's entire career.