Taking a break while at the pinnacle of success may seem unusual, but this is exactly what Noma, a regular in the World’s Best Restaurants list did.
The Michelin starred restaurant run by chef Rene Redzepi, famed for its New Nordic cuisine took a brief hiatus, reopening in 2018. Understanding the limitations of its existing space, the Copenhagen based restaurant relocated to Christiania during this time, occupying a landmark site that had been previously used for military purposes. The new site gave birth to a new edition of the restaurant, titled Noma 2.0.
The reinvention of Noma - the pioneer of New Nordic cuisine - was handled by a team of experts. An experimental restaurant that works with locally sourced and seasonal foods needed a space that could meet its unique requirements. Working deftly around the constraints of a protected site, Bjarke Ingels Group designed a group of structures inspired by the “seter” - Nordic farming villages. Replicating the concept of huts built for independent functions in the seter, the layout for Noma 2.0 creates separate spaces for each of the functions while using the existing structure to house facilities like the prep kitchen and staff dining room. The cluster of hut-like structures centered around the service kitchen provides diners a peek into the process. Three greenhouses are also created for the restaurant to grow food in, supporting the hyperlocal movement.
The interior design for the restaurant was handled by Studio David Thulstrup, who brought an elegant look to the space. The dining space, with glass walls on one side, overlooks the lake and the serene space outside. Timber-lined walls and ceilings combined with wooden flooring are used here to lend a warm quality to the dining space. Wooden seating specially made for the project includes an ARV chair, designed by David Thulstrup and brought to life by Brdr Kruger. Custom limestone pendants hang above the tables, while salvaged wood and plants accent the space with natural colors and textures. The separate structures in the village are connected to each other by terrazzo walkways with glass roofing, bringing in the beauty of the changing seasons. Through here, guests can head on into the lounge to relax after their meal. In the lounge, a fireplace is perfectly set against brick walls, creating a warm space for the guests.
Noma 2.0 is designed as a holistic space that enhances the sensory experience of dining. The design, which complements the seasonal approach of Noma’s menu, provides guests with a setting in which the food is best enjoyed. Each of the thoughtfully designed spaces in Noma 2.0 honor not just the extraordinary culinary journey, but also the Nordic traditions that influence them.
Photo: Rasmus Hjortshøj