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Food and drink of Nordic cultures inspires Snøhetta's Copenhagen restaurant for noma
12 Jul 2017 . BY Kim Megson
Snøhetta have designed the interiors and new graphic identity for the restaurant
Photo: Line Klein
Architecture practice Snøhetta have partnered with acclaimed chef Thorsten Schmidt to create a new restaurant in the former home of the world-renowned Danish restaurant noma.

Located in the protected North Atlantic House on Copenhagen’s waterfront, Barr opened its doors last week.

Snøhetta have designed the interiors and new graphic identity for the restaurant, which is owned by the noma restaurant group, around the food and drink traditions found in the region along the North Sea. The name, which means ‘Barley’ in Old Norse, reflects Schmidt’s fascination with an eating culture encompassing meals such as frikadeller (Danish meatballs), schnitzel and hot-smoked salmon.

The design team looked to microscopic studies of foods and beer from the region, which influenced everything from the colour palette to the furniture.

Local touches are used throughout. Most of the oak used for furniture and interior was harvested from trees grown less than fifty kilometres away, while the relief patterns of the ceiling and wall panels are inspired by the microscopic view of barley, one of the three main ingredients in beer making.

Raw materials such as wood, leather and wool evoke the restaurant’s Northern influence – and are demonstrated in the oak floor, rough stone walls and an anchoring carved timber counter – and throughout the restaurant there is a juxtaposition of old and new, including original ceiling beams and new, sculpted wooden planks.

Local techniques and locally sourced materials were used in the restaurant’s design and furniture was created by Malte Gormsen using traditional Danish craftsmanship and carpentry.

“Designing within the context of a listed building meant that we needed to understand the space carefully,” said Peter Girgis, senior interior architect at Snøhetta. “Reflecting Thorsten’s overarching vision for Barr, we believe we have created a feeling of formal informality. Together we have created new components, including custom furniture and cabinetry, which enhance Barr’s identity and philosophy, while at the same time providing a connection to the original noma space.”

Chef René Redzepi will also help run the restaurant. He was the chef and co-owner of noma when it regularly topped the 'World's 50 best restaurants list'.
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