Regal Redesign

Copenhagen's SAS Royal Radisson Hotel

Copenhagen's SAS Royal Radisson Hotel, a recently refurbished landmark of modern Danish architecture, should be applauded for retaining its uncompromisingly modernist appearance. A 22-story glass slab overlooking the city, the flagship hotel was finished in 1960. It was the brainchild of one of the giants of 20th-century form-invention, Arne Jacobsen (1902-1971), who also designed every single thing in it, from faucets to doorknobs. Though almost all of Jacobsen's original fittings have gradually been worn out and discarded, interior designer Yasmine Mahmoudieh, who oversaw the redesign, has made every attempt to retain their flavor. What remains of Jacobsen's concept, aside from the building's chief proportions and volumes, are his flying staircase in the lobby, his marine palette of sea greens and muted emeralds, his delightful bathroom fixtures, and the three famous wraparound chair types he originated for this hotel: the Swan, the Egg, and the Seven Chair. Room 606 has been left entirely as he created it. Mahmoudieh, who is based in Germany, has redesigned all the other rooms, on the whole, rather well. She has respectfully preserved the aura of midcentury modernism while adding creations of her own, such as the stylish cabinets and nightstands. But the redone Royal's pièce de résistance is the Alberto K. Restaurant, on the top floor, which is named after Alberto Kappenburger, the SAS executive who made Jacobsen's dream a practical possibility. Here, with the panorama of Copenhagen below, you can (using Jacobsen's classic cutlery) sample a superb cuisine in which fresh Danish ingredients are prepared along Italian lines; the restaurant also offers a long, thoughtful Italian wine list. $285-$2,200; dinner: $105. Hammerichsgade I, DK-1611, Copenhagen V, Denmark; 45-3342-6000.