A Tour of The Noma Restaurant in Copenhagen
Noma 2.0 is a restaurant located on a historic site next to a lake that was once part of Copenhagen’s ancient fortifications. The chef and co-owner René Redzepi divided year into three seasons, during which the menu changes dramatically to match the type of ingredients that are at their peak at any given time of the year. An existing concrete building that had been used for munition storage was turned into prep kitchens, fermentation lab and staff rooms. Bjarke Ingels’s BIG designed a complex of 11 new buildings for the restaurant, test kitchen and greenhouses. Clustered like classic Norwegian farm buildings they will eventually be surrounded by trees and plants with expansive views of the lake. Studio David Thulstrup designed the interiors to be true to the structure, echoing the external materials and with an honest, simple and modern feel.
“The gabled entrance building is made of tombac, which will patinate to a matt brown. Guests arrive at a rudimentary front door that looks like it’s been cut out of the slatted wooden front. Should guests wish to take their shoes off at the front door as many Danes do at home, the terrazzo floor is sandblasted so they can feel its river stones underfoot. Inside, natural oak panels line the ceiling and walls, which have integrated wardrobe doors. Flying at due north overhead is an artwork of driftwood and raw earth magnets, ‘Conscious Compass’, 2018, made especially for the space by the Danish Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson, who’s a friend of René Redzepi’s. At Noma 2.0, René Redzepi wants the cooks to be at the centre of everything working in an open kitchen where the stainless steel usually seen in professional kitchens is banished in favour of oak-clad islands not unlike what you would have at home. Studio David Thulstrup developed the kitchen cabinets with the Belgian professional kitchen specialist Maes Inox. The energy of the kitchen spills into the surrounding rooms, connected by glass walkways. In the spacious circulation area lab-style glass jars on a round table display specimens of whatever is in season in front of an artwork by the Danish artist Carl Emil Jacobsen using pigments made from crushed stones. A steel and glass roof floods the kitchen with natural light. On the floor is a more highly polished version of the river stone terrazzo. The 42-seat dining room is kind of a modern barn with huge glass windows looking out at the lake and the nature, where guests are otherwise enveloped in floor to ceiling oak. Dinesen heart oak planks with their signature butterfly joints are used on the floors and the walls are lined with stacked planks, held together by 250,000 invisible screws. In the centre is a counter made from a 200-year-old timber beam blackened from being immersed in the harbour nearby. Left deliberately unadorned, the dining room is designed for storytelling. As Noma’s seasonal menu changes so too will decorations hung by Noma’s staff. Working with chef Redzepi, our team designed new dining tables and chairs that are a contemporary riff on traditional Scandinavian chairs with seats and backs of woven paper cord. Made in light or darker smoked oak they were produced by the family owned Brdr. Krüger. Additional custom-made furniture includes built-in and freestanding pouring and waiter stations. As with other spaces, the dining room is lit by a lighting range developed for the project in cooperation with the Austrian lighting firm XAL. It pairs new and flexible technology with a refined and simple design language. The conical shades were made in collaboration with designer Jonas Edvard, using locally sourced gesso,” explains David Thulstrup, principal of the Studio David Thulstrup
- Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
- Date completed: 2018
- Design: Studio David Thulstrup
- Photos: Irina Boersma