BIG designs new premises for award-winning Copenhagen restaurant
BIG recently completed a new premises for the award-winning noma restaurant, which is located in Copenhagen and incorporates a former military warehouse previously used to store mines for the Royal Danish Navy. It features an interesting design described as a "restaurant village" by the firm that consists of multiple buildings.
The noma restaurant comprises 11 buildings arranged around a central kitchen. BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) drew inspiration from arctic villages and Nordic farms when creating this design, but also likens the layout to a panopticon. It means that the chefs can oversee the kitchen and guest areas, including the public and private dining rooms.
"The new noma dissolves the traditional idea of a restaurant into its constituent parts and reassembles them in a way that puts the chefs at the heart of it all," says BIG founder Bjarke Ingels. "Every part of the restaurant experience - the arrival, the lounge, the barbecue, the wine selection and the private company - is all clustered around the chefs. From their central position, they have a perfect overview to every corner of the restaurant while allowing every single guest to follow what would traditionally happen behind-the-scenes."
The restaurant's multiple buildings facilitate a mixture of architectural styles. For example, the barbecue area takes the form of a large walk-in hut, while the lounge is intended to make guests feel like they're sitting cosily within an oversized brick fireplace.
The dining rooms, meanwhile, are made of stacked timber planks and meant to resemble wood piled at a lumber yard. Three glass houses host the restaurant's greenhouse, test kitchen, and bakery, and glazed corridors link each building.
BIG renovated the former military warehouse itself as part of the project too. The firm preserved its original concrete shell but added a new interior centered around wooden shelving used for storage and display. Other areas in the warehouse include a prep kitchen, terrarium, and break areas for staff.