Fostering Learning through Design

Arne Jacobsen's Munkegaard School

Students in a classroom at the Munkegaard School, 1965

In the late 1940s, the architectural philosophy behind school design was undergoing a major transformation that strayed from the traditional, multi-story institutions seen across Europe. Embracing this changing philosophy and concerned with creating an environment that fostered learning, Arne Jacobsen set out designing plans for the Munkegaard School in Gentolfe, Denmark. Completed in in 1957, the school housed over 1000 students and was spread over a single-story, incorporating open courtyards, floor to ceiling windows and adjacent classrooms that fostered a sense of community and learning. Jacobsen designed every aspect of the school—from the chairs, desks, fittings and outdoor spaces—to be uncomplicated and functional. The children’s chairs and teacher’s desk offered here exemplify this standard as sleek, simple designs that withstood the test of time and several hundred students. 

Aerial photo of the Munkegaard School, c. 1957

Arne Jacobsen 1902–1971

Arne Jacobsen was an architect and designer who approached his work from both perspectives, making major contributions to Functionalism and Danish Modern style. Born and raised in Copenhagen, Denmark, he won the silver medal for his chair design at the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs in Paris in 1925 while an architecture student at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. After winning the Danish Architect’s Association competition for his House of the Future design, he opened his own office in 1929. Jacobsen was forced to flee to Sweden in 1943 following the rise of the Nazi party, but later returned to Denmark ushering in a wave of landmark public and private commissions.

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Auction Results Arne Jacobsen