Noma in Copenhagen was recently named the best restaurant in the world in San Pellegrino’s World’s 50 Best for the second year in a row.The kitchen, run by chef René Redzepi, is known for its small plates and out-of-the-ordinary specialties, such as pickled and smoked quail eggs or Nordic-style pancakes wrapped around preserved fish. The tasting menu alone costs $267, not counting the additional $170 wine pairing.
Now this Danish gastronomic paradise has been revamped. Partnering with deign studio SPACE, the Noma team wanted a complete renovation before they returned from the 2012 London Olympics. That left SPACE with a mere three weeks for the redesign.
“In the beginning we all thought that Noma should be turned upside down, that we should do something completely new and unexpected,” comments SPACE partners Peter Bundgaard Rützou and Signe Bindslev Henriksen. “After quite a long initial sketching period, we all came to the conclusion that it seemed forced and pretentious for a place like Noma to do something too conceptual or formally upscale…it is important that the space is not perceived as a superficial layer between the customer and the actual food experience.”
The design team worked within the fundamental elements of the original warehouse, changing the colour scheme, tables, and chairs instead of the actual layout of the restaurant itself. The biggest change was erecting a brick wall in the lounge and replacing the flooring with wider oak panels.
The result is a cool, sleek interior that provides an elegant backdrop to Noma’s world-renowned dishes.
This is what the old interior looked like. The black curtains made tables feel more private, and the wood was warm against the stark warehouse interior.
This is what the new entrance to Noma looks like. The counters are still black, but the warm wood is replaced with cool grey slabs.
The redesigned bar is visually broken up with bottles of libations. These cocktail tables are for more intimate parties of two.
The chairs are the same design as the old ones, but are now in harmony with the restaurant's new darker colour scheme.
A final glimpse inside the newly redesigned space showcases how complete the redesign was. Even the tableware has a different, minimalist feel.
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