Noma Restaurant Copenhagen by Studio Thulstrup | Yellowtrace

Noma Restaurant Copenhagen by Studio Thulstrup | Yellowtrace

Noma Restaurant Copenhagen by Studio Thulstrup | Yellowtrace

Noma Restaurant Copenhagen by Studio Thulstrup | Yellowtrace

Noma Restaurant Copenhagen by Studio Thulstrup | Yellowtrace

 

When René Redzepi shut Noma, voted world’s best restaurant four times over, and began planning Noma 2.0, the project heralded a fresh beginning with a brand new building and a new menu based around three seasons. To realise his vision, the world’s most influential chef commissioned the Copenhagen-based Studio David Thulstrup to realise the new interior. Redzepi said he was drawn to a “level of rawness to David’s ideas that portray things as immediately honest and clear, but also fresh and forward-looking.”

One of Redzepi’s most important considerations in creating the new Noma was that it had a sense of place. “Where in the world are we? The interiors had to reflect that. At the same time, each piece and each setting needed to be carefully selected so that everything was bespoke. That was one of the challenges of this project: combining the practical demands of a busy restaurant which requires materials that can handle a lot of wear and tear, while also being something that can only be experienced in that corner of Copenhagen, forever.”

As a starting point, David Thulstrup looked to residential design rather than hospitality, seeking to evoke a feeling of being at home. “A keyword for René was liveable, so we created honest, simple and modern spaces that are not over-designed,” he says.

 

Related: Noma Australia Restaurant Pop-Up at Sydney’s Barangaroo by Foolscap Studio.

 

Noma Restaurant in Copenhagen by Studio Thulstrup | Yellowtrace

Noma Restaurant in Copenhagen by Studio Thulstrup | Yellowtrace

Noma Restaurant in Copenhagen by Studio Thulstrup | Yellowtrace

Noma Restaurant in Copenhagen by Studio Thulstrup | Yellowtrace

Noma Restaurant in Copenhagen by Studio Thulstrup | Yellowtrace

 

The new restaurant is housed in a series of farm-like buildings designed by the Danish architect Bjarke Ingels’s BIG. Each building carries a sole function and is made of a single material – tombac, timber or bricks. The interior design had to be faithful to the structure and echo the external materials.

“The material is the decoration,” explains Thulstrup. Oak takes centre stage in the main dining room with walls that look like stacks of timber and a central counter made of a 200-year-old naturally blackened beam found in the nearby harbour. The private dining room is more architectural with beams clad in white oiled Douglas fir as a contrast to its charred pine exterior. For the lounge area, Thulstrup chose a custom-made cream brick for walls and floors to evoke the clean, modern lines of 70s Danish style.

 

Noma Restaurant in Copenhagen by Studio Thulstrup | Yellowtrace

Noma Restaurant in Copenhagen by Studio Thulstrup | Yellowtrace

Noma Restaurant in Copenhagen by Studio Thulstrup | Yellowtrace

 

The overall design concept was based around the creation of the new home for Noma – although not entirely brand new but one that reflected the restaurant’s celebrated 15-year history. “It’s all about this mix of new and old and creating a sense of history but not from a nostalgic point of view,” says Thulstrup. During the course of the one-year project, he selected materials and all surface treatments, custom designed cabinetry and several furniture pieces, developed a range of lighting, chose and commissioned artworks, purchased vintage pieces at auction and online. He even created a terrazzo floor of large river stones the shape of which can be felt when walked on with bare feet.

“It’s very Scandinavian without any of the clichés of Nordic design. I looked to all eras, particularly less-explored Scandinavian furniture and art references,” says Thulstrup. “Everything is carefully selected, curated or designed and nothing screams more than the other. The whole thing has this sense of coherence and a 360-degree holistic approach.”

In keeping with Redzepi’s desire for everything to be handmade and long lasting, Thulstrup worked with dedicated craftspeople and used only the finest local materials – Dinesen heart oak planks, Petersen Tegl bricks, river stones for a customised terrazzo floor. The stacked timber effect of the dining room is a sophisticated piece of construction requiring 250,000 screws. The Arv chair designed in consultation with Redzepi and made by Brdr. Krüger is a modern take on a traditional oak and woven paper cord chair.

 

Noma Restaurant in Copenhagen by Studio Thulstrup | Yellowtrace

Noma Restaurant in Copenhagen by Studio Thulstrup | Yellowtrace

Noma Restaurant in Copenhagen by Studio Thulstrup | Yellowtrace

 

Since setting up his Copenhagen-based studio in 2009, Thulstrup has developed a reputation for refined and diverse residential and commercial projects entirely in tune with his clients’ desires and needs. Noma is no different except for the fact “the whole world was watching”.

“Everything had to be better than the best because that’s the mood that comes from René and Noma and it was the driving force for me. My job was always about understanding who is Noma, what am I being given as a canvas and how can I make sure that I understand the vision of René to make sure that happens,” says Thulstrup.

Redzepi has bet everything on Noma 2.0, which opened in mid-February to instant acclaim. He said it made a big difference having David and his team as part of this project.

“The end result is more than I expected. Even though it’s a brand new space, it feels like it has been there for a while, it is a space that immediately settles you as you enter, yet it is unfamiliar once you start looking around. The details are so fresh and modern,” concludes Redzepi.

 

Related: Interview: Danish Architect David Thulstrup.

 

 


[Images courtesy of Studio David Thulstrup. Photography by Irina Boersma.]

 

About The Author

Dana Tomić Hughes
Founder & Editor
Google+

Dana is an award-winning interior designer living in Sydney, Australia. With an unhealthy passion for design, Dana commits to an abnormal amount of daily design research. Regular travel and attendance at premier design events, enables Dana to stay at the forefront of the design world globally. While she is super serious about design, Dana never takes herself - nor design - too seriously. Together with her life and business partner, Dana is Boss Lady at Studio Yellowtrace, specialising in Design Strategy, Creative Direction and Special Projects. The studio takes a highly conceptual and holistic approach to translating brands & ideas into places & experiences.

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