Relaunch | The AJ Oxford Lamp

Introducing the AJ Oxford by Arne Jacobsen from the archives of Louis Poulsen.

Relaunch | The AJ Oxford Lamp

Introducing the AJ Oxford by Arne Jacobsen from the archives of Louis Poulsen.

Designed in 1964 by eminent Danish designer and architect Arne Jacobsen, the AJ Oxford lamp was created for St. Catherine's College, Oxford. An important modernist gesamtkunstwerk (total work of art), Jacobsen designed every element of the college - the furniture, lighting, and grounds, down to the smallest detail including the cutlery.

The AJ Oxford was initially designed as a table lamp for the arresting dining hall at the college. The elegant lamps act as a centerpiece to a series of imposing oak tables capable of seating 350 people. The light can still be found in the dining hall at St Catherine's College today. 

The new release of the iconic design features a slender steel stem that seamlessly melds into the circular base, its graphic expression emulating the architecture. The lamp, complete with opal-glass shade and optional metal top, emits a diffused glow, softly illuminating through the three-layered mouth-blown opal glass.  

The monochrome AJ Oxford is available in five iterations; in two different heights, with or without a metal upper shade; the taller version also comes as a pin lamp in homage to the original design.  

St. Catherine's College is considered Arne Jacobsen's international breakthrough project, the college an innovative synthesis of tradition and modern ideals. The restrained modernist style is starkly singular amongst the classic Oxford university buildings, yet utilising many of the traditional architectural and social tropes. The new college constructed around a quadrangle, preserving the basic layout with a repetition of identical modules and a low, horizontal formation.  

‘I have attempted to build on the traditions I encountered at Oxford but sought to translate them into a modern expression.

I don’t see how one could do anything else. As a foreigner, one has an obligation to adhere to the customs and traditions that exist, but on the other hand, I also think one has an obligation to translate them into a modern idiom.

Otherwise, one might end up with, in my opinion, the very worst outcome, which is a pastiche, a sad copy of something old.’

- Arne Jacobsen

In 2019, twentytwentyone were kindly invited to St. Catherine's College with the Danish furniture manufacturer Fritz Hansen. Together, we toured the grade 1 listed building and grounds, including the renowned Grand Hall, Wolfston Library, and Bernard Sunley Lecture Theatre.

One of Jacobsen's most significant works and the epitome of modernism, it was a fantastic opportunity for our team to see first-hand the synergy between architecture, product design, and landscape while witnessing iconic Jacobsen designs in situ.

The AJ Oxford was originally part of Louis Poulsen's collection from 1964-1970, and we are delighted to welcome back this important historical design which is available to order again from the 1st February 2023.

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