The Audo: Copenhagen welcomes a hybrid hotel
Danish design brand Menu understands that good design is as much about the experience as it is about the object; which is why their venture, The Audo, is conceived as a multifunctional space that serves as a boutique hotel, co-working and event space as well as the showroom and headquarters for Menu.
The brand is a well loved fixture in the Scandinavian design sector, having gained widespread attention since being established in Denmark in 1978. With several stores and showrooms currently existing across Denmark, Menu decided to stray off the beaten path with The Audo, looking for as much a space to showcase their products as for one that encourages design partnership.
Designed in collaboration with Norm Architects, The Audo is situated within a renovated industrial building in the city of Nordhavn in Copenhagen. A harbour city with industrial roots, Nordhavn is expanding by the day to meet the growing needs of the capital city, providing an ideal spot for an innovative project like The Audo. Norm Architects devised the design for the structure keeping the industrial facade intact and with a focus on creating a warm and inviting interior space with modern minimalist aesthetics.
The design uses brass detailing on concrete stairs to form a smooth transition onto wooden stairs, while wooden cabinets and wardrobes are paired with concrete and wood flooring. Off white walls and columns balance the color scheme in the showroom and communal spaces to create an open space where the products shine. Textures on a marble bar are highlighted by custom lighting hanging from a metallic ceiling. The loft suites, called Audo Residences, play with a warmer color scheme that invokes a sense of comfort. Earth tones in the suites combine well with furniture and accessories by Menu to create a perfect space for the guests to relax, and try out and experience the designs.
The Audo is envisioned as a collaborative space, one that connects people and encourages communication and the exchange of knowledge. This is reflected in the name, an abbreviation of the Latin phrase ‘Ab Uno Disce Omnes’, which translates to ‘from one, learn all’. Each of the spaces within the structure- the cafe, restaurant, hotel, work and event space and the design store, are developed as an extension of this concept. Across these spaces are displayed works by various artists and designers, calling out to the visitors.
The boutique hotel is similarly evolving, as Menu promises to update the design of the suites over time with new pieces by varied artists. The co-working spaces are also opened up to members of the community, creating a truly communal space.
Design here at the Audo is as dynamic as the industry itself. In the words of Bjarne Hansen, founder of Menu and The Audo, “Blurring the lines between home-life and work, uniting design, business and community in one innovative space that is alive and under constant renewal, The Audo as a concept is a unique place to experience elements of our built environment as a whole.”
Photography: Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen, Mario Depicolzuane and Monica Grue Steffensen