Design tour of Denmark

You will have encountered Danish design at one time or another, whether you realise it or not. In the 60s, viewers of Kennedy and Nixon’s historic TV duel were looking at Hans J. Wegner’s Danish chair. Modern audiences have begun craving classic Danish light fittings by Poul Henningsen, thanks to The Killing. And classics such as Erik Magnussen's Stelton thermos are now sitting on tables all over the world. Follow the trail of great Danish designers across the country with this guide to design in Denmark.

Denmark’s number one design street 

A great place to start any design tour of Denmark is Copenhagen’s Bredgade. Here you’ll find the auction house Bruun Rassmussen, along with a wonderful collection of antique shops carrying well-known names in design, such as Georg Jensen and Arne Jacobsen. At Number 69 is the Design Museum of Denmark.

Design Museum of Denmark

Drop in to the Design Museum to see the exhibition on Danish 20th century furniture design, entitled Utopia and Reality. This is the largest exhibition of its type in Denmark and includes heavyweights such as Kaare Klint, Poul Henningsen and Arne Jacobsen. Take a break after in the café, furnished with items by Hans J. Wegner and Poul Kjærholm.

Danish Design Centre

Opposite Tivoli in Copenhagen, in a building designed by world-famous Henning Larsen, you’ll find the Danish Design Centre.  (Please note that Danish Design Centre is closed from January-April 2013 due to construction and restructuring)

Louis Poulsen showroom

On Gammel Strand in Copenhagen, you can visit the Louis Poulsen showroom, with its large collection of lamps and light fittings from big names such as Poul Henningsen, Arne Jacobsen and Verner Panton. They also have an iPhone app, so you can download their products directly to your screen. 

Royal Copenhagen

Royal Copenhagen is a name synonymous with high-end Danish design since 1775. At their shop and welcome centre on Amagertorv, Copenhagen, you can see films and antiques, as well as current bestsellers and Christmas plates from 1908 onwards. Their old factory in Frederiksberg is now their factory outlet.

Poul Henningsen’s Tivoli

Next time you’re in Tivoli, keep an eye out for the beautiful lantern garden, designed by a pioneering functionalist designer, Poul Henningsen. Nearly 2000 lanterns illuminate areas around Tivoli’s lake, originally fitted with small engines so they could turn like spinning tops.

The world’s first design hotel 

The Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Copenhagen, is celebrated as the world’s first design hotel, designed inside and outside in 1960 by world-renowned architect Arne Jacobsen. Room 606 still features Arne Jacobsen’s original layout and furnishings.

Finn Juhl’s house

Charlottenlund, just north of Copenhagen, is a great place to visit if you are on the trail of Danish design. Not only does it have the Ordrupgaard Art Museum, but the original house of world-famous Danish architect and designer Finn Juhl to see. 

Aarhus City Hall

Visit Aarhus City Hall to marvel at the talents of Arne Jacobsen, who designed the building with fellow architect Erik Møller. This building, which also has interiors designed by Hans J. Wegner, is now protected, as a shining example of Danish functionalism.

Bang & Olufsen’s home

International electronics giant, Bang & Olufsen, is known worldwide for its sleek and functional design. But did you know that this company started in Struer, a little town in the middle of Denmark? Today, you can find out the history of this important Danish company at Struer Museum’s Bang & Olufsen exhibition

Trapholt

Jutland is home to Trapholt Museum, with impressive collections blending art, furniture and sculpture. The furniture collections house big names such as Kaare Klint and Verner Panton. This is the only place you can see Arne Jacobsen’s Kubeflex summerhouse, where everything down to the interior is designed by the man himself.

Further reading

Read more about Shopping in Denmark.

Read more about Danish design.

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The biggest names behind Denmark's rich design history.