In 2015, Danish chef René Redzepi announced that he was closing Noma, the Copenhagen restaurant that made Nordic food a global culinary obsession. Now the space is being turned into Barr, a casual New-Nordic restaurant by Thorsten Schmidt, an acclaimed Danish chef and Redzepi’s close friend (Redzepi is also a partner in the restaurant). To come up with a new visual identity and interiors for Barr, Schmidt enlisted the architecture firm Snøhetta.
Located in an old warehouse district overlooking a Copenhagen canal, the structure is protected by historic preservation laws, so Snøhetta was limited in how much it could modify the interiors. Barr looks almost exactly like Noma’s hygge-meets-forager aesthetic–it was renovated in 2012 by Space Copenhagen–but with a polished facelift.
The architects added blond cabinetry, flooring, sculpted wood ceiling planks, and custom furniture, playing up the contrast of slick newness and time-worn details, like the mottled post-and-beam supports and stone walls. Most of the wood was sourced from forests within 30 miles of the restaurant. The color palette of muted blues, browns, and grays was inspired by microscope images of beer and ingredients found around the North Sea. While Noma’s last incarnation was mostly a cool charcoal gray and black, Snøhetta’s design for Barr is less goth and more golden.
For the minimal branding, the designers developed a custom typeface for the restaurant, Barr Gräbenbach, and used that on signage, menus, and other printed materials.
“Designing within the context of a listed building meant that we needed to understand the space carefully,” Peter Girgis, senior interior architect at Snøhetta, said in a release. “Reflecting Thorsten’s overarching vision for Barr, we believe we have created a feeling of formal informality.”
As for Noma? It’ll be reopening elsewhere with a new concept and new urban farm sometime in 2017. See Snøhetta’s design for Barr the slide show above.DB