They have known and collaborated with each other for years, but totally remodeling the restaurant of multi-starred chef Rene’ Redzepi (2010, 2011 and 2012 first in 50 Best Restaurants of the world and in 2010 in Times’ list of 100 world’s most influential men) has not been easy for the Danish design studio, Space.

Designers had less than 3 weeks’ time to prepare.

The NOMA (the name of the famous restaurant) is located in the historical downtown of Copenhagen in an old building of the Danish capital, so this implied certain restrictions and a plan of action that was quite demanding. The tight-knit relationship between Space and Redzepi favored the meeting; operating in a restaurant such as NOMA means to know the mentality of the people who work there, the shared values of a team and any preference of single individuals.

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The first decision was to do a 360 degree makeover, completely turning upside down the architectural and interior idea of the place and to do something that surprised without being conceptual or formal.

Rene Redzepi’s vision led the way:” It’s important that the space is not perceived as superficial by the customer and their relationship with the food.”

Space decided to work on the meaning of space and the functionality of the establishment, details included.

The plan was to enhance the aspect of touch by implementing a new concept of defined materials with their own identity. Materials such as wood, stone, leather and fabrics, but also furniture and props would create a balanced relationship between the rough and the refined elegance.

Structural renovations were reduced to a minimum but the result is remarkable.

A brick wall was built to allow a more defined lounge area, while long grey and brass planks were mounted on the bright wood columns. This created a new sense of space and a new vision of congruity and spacial harmony.

The flooring is of hardwood oak, with grey and bright shades, with big strips that make a big difference and create a nice atmosphere.

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Chairs and tables kept the same design as before, but surfaces and colors have been revamped making it appear as though all the main room furniture has been replaced.

The Ren chairs were designed by Space and hand crafted by Stellar Works; a real Danish woodworking atelier, world famous for its craftsmanship and the ability to inspire various projects taking ideas from different cultures. The Ren chair shows the ability to adapt: how to transform a product destined to a wealthy residential building to a venue for a demanding audience: different heights and chair measurements specifically made to be utilized in a project of a restaurant room.

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The kitchen underwent a radical change too (in 10 years NOMA restaurant went from anonymity and 10 people to absolute success and a 70 person staff). The rapid exponential growth of the past years had transformed the kitchen in a dizzying labyrinth of gadgets and accessories; change was urgent to permit Redzepi and his chefs to be able to work in a comfortable environment.

But as you know, chefs are not prone to talk about their kitchen much so…just a look from above.

Matteo De Bartolomeis

Matteo De Bartolomeis

Born in Milan, a career in professional publishing with a significant interlude in behavioral and methodology training. He went digital and experienced first-hand the birth and rise of the internet, working in IT publishing in the 1990s. Has been working for 12 years with and for Suite magazine and on b2b publishing projects for the contract and hotel industry, with special focus on the international evolution of design, on trends and transformations in the relevant markets and the role of social media in the industry.