Room 606: The spirit of the 60s lives on

With our Sleep Concept Hotel project teams busy at work on their 1960s and pop art-inspired junior suite concepts to be revealed on September 20, we take a peek inside a time capsule of the original mid-century design hotel.

Copenhagen’s Radisson Blu Royal Hotel evokes a subtle Scandinavian cool; timber-clad walls, clean lines, classic Arne Jacobsen pieces dotting the interiors. But despite nods to its heritage, it could really be any contemporary hotel anywhere in the world.

That is, until you step into room 606. Here, the origins and history of the building are brought to life in one 42 sqm suite. Also referred to as the Arne Jacobsen suite, the room is a love letter to mid-century Scandinavian design and a step back in time to what it would have been like to stay at the hotel in the 1960s.

Arne Jacobsen's intact design for room 606 at the Radisson Blu Royal Copenhagen.

Arne Jacobsen’s intact design for room 606 at the Radisson Blu Royal Copenhagen.

Originally called the SAS Royal Hotel, the hotel was built for the Scandinavian Airlines System in 1960 as a stopover spot with easy access to Copenhagen’s airport. Jacobsen was brought on board to design the SAS Royal from top to toe – everything from the architecture to the interiors and fittings. The project was monumental for a number of reasons. At 26 floors, it was Copenhagen’s first skyscraper – forever altering the city’s skyline and creating a modern landmark. Whereas many luxury hotels of the time embraced extravagance, Jacobsen’s pared-back style proved that luxury and simplicity could go hand-in-hand. Several of the pieces designed specifically for this landmark hotel have since gone on to become design classics – the iconic Egg and Swan chairs, whose shapes have become emblems of Jacobsen’s characteristic style, were first created for the SAS Royal.

Arne Jacobsen at the SAS Royal Hotel, now the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel Copenhagen.

Arne Jacobsen at the SAS Royal Hotel, now the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel Copenhagen.

What must have seemed incredibly forward-thinking at the time – vanity mirrors, radio and intercom systems built into the furniture, for example – give visitors an insight into a very 1960s vision of the future. The room also features the Drop chair, which unlike much of Jacobsen’s other furniture, has never been reissued – making it an especially rare find.

As the only room at the SAS Royal (now called the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel) left intact according to Jacobsen’s original vision, room 606 is a special glimpse into the past; a reminder of Jacobsen’s incomparable design talent and of the lasting impact design from the 1950s and 1960s has made on contemporary interiors.

Stay tuned to Between the Sheets and @sleepevent as we reveal more about this year’s Sleep Concept Hotel entries, which will bring the spirit of 1960s design to a contemporary hotel setting. To join the fun – why not enter our #SleepCulture Pinterest comp? Take a look at our inspiration boards and create your own Pinterest mood board reflecting what Pop Art and 1960s design means to you; your selection could be featured at this year’s Sleep Event.

For more on Room 606, check out Phaidon’s tribute book celebrating 50 years of Jacobsen’s vision.