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Snøhetta revives Barr’s interiors and visual identity with wooden fixtures in Copenhagen

Denmark - Jul 17, 2017 - 16:47   2666 views

Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta has redesigned Barr's interiors and visual identity for Noma Restaurant Group in its former Copenhagen home. Snøhetta has brought a fresh look and authenticity to this iconic space, which opened its doors on July 5 on Copenhagen’s waterfront.

Designed with chefs Thorsten Schmidt and René Redzepi of the restaurant, Snøhetta reveals a strong duality and juxtaposition of the old and the new by using wooden materials for floor and ceiling with rough texture and leather-covered seats.  

Located in North Atlantic House (Nordatlantens Brygge), Barr is a casual restaurant focused not only on the Nordics, but also on the broader food and drink traditions found in the region along the North Sea; an area that spans Scandinavia, Germany, Benelux and British Isles.

"The restaurant’s name (Barr: meaning "barley" in old Norse), reflects Schmidt’s fascination with the region’s food and drink history and culture. Classic dishes such as frikadeller (Danish meatballs), schnitzel and hot-smoked salmon will be offered alongside a large selection of craft beers and aquavits," emphasized Snøhetta. 

When guests entering the restaurant, they are met with a warm oak floor, contrasting with the rough texture of the original stone walls. A massive, carved wooden counter stretching from one room to the other anchors the space. 

The ceiling is alternately composed of the original ceiling beams and new, sculpted wooden planks, which are embedded with brass details that reflect micro spots of light. Raw materials - wood, leather and wool - evoke the restaurant’s Northern influence.

In addition to designing the interiors, Snøhetta also designed the branding and visual identity for Barr. Having researched the typographical heritage of the North Sea region, Snøhetta has also developed a unique typeface called Barr Gräbenbach. 

Shaped by the convergence of traditional handcraft and mechanical production, the typeface creates a bold yet refined expression. It is complemented by a color palette that references the natural seasons, honest and direct imagery, and a selection of paper qualities and embossing of patterns.

"Designing within the context of a listed building meant that we needed to understand the space carefully," commented Peter Girgis, Senior Interior Architect, 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."

Snøhetta uses local techniques and locally sourced materials as an essential part of the restaurant’s design. Most of the oak used for furniture and interior was harvested from trees grown less than fifty kilometres from Barr’s doorstep. 

The restaurant’s furniture was created by Malte Gormsen using traditional Danish craftsmanship and carpentry. The bar counters are CNC-milled oak. The relief pattern of the ceiling and wall panels are inspired by the microscopic view of barley, one of the three main ingredients in beer making.

All images © Line Klein  

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