I often share peeks inside beautiful homes and hotels around the world, and I’ve decided it’s time I start throwing a few restaurants into the mix, too – they’re fantastic sources of design inspiration, and it’s always useful to keep an eye on places to visit when travelling.
First up is Nærvær, a wine bar and restaurant in Copenhagen which opened its doors in June 2017. Set beside a canal in the city’s Christianshavn district, it’s the latest creation from Norm Architects, who’ve been responsible for many of the projects featured on These Four Walls before.
‘Nærvær’ is the Danish word for ‘presence’, and the aim behind the project was to create a cosy, informal and affordable meeting place where people can make time for each other, be present in the moment, and relax over good food and good wine. With that in mind, Norm used stone, dark wood and tactile upholstery to soften the building’s exposed pipework and raw concrete walls, forming a moody yet inviting space that’s full of texture. They also added dashes of rich russet red to warm up the palette of neutral greys and browns, and combined oil-burned steel and tubular diffusers to create lighting which echoes the industrial aesthetics while emitting a gentle glow.
The bar is laid-back, with a series of inviting niches where customers can sit back and chat. They surround an airy central area, but even this is broken up by large potted plants and indoor trees, which screen clusters of seats and add a dash of organic greenery to offset the angular lines.
Behind the bar is the restaurant – an intimate space which serves no more than 10 people at any one time. The goal here was to engage customers in the experience, so they sit at high tables flanking an open kitchen where they can watch the chefs at work; the stools are from Gubi’s ‘Beetle’ series – one of my all-time favourites. The food itself combines Danish simplicity with French influences, and there are no set menus or rushed two-hour sittings that might detract from the artistry of the culinary team.
The project has also led to a beautiful collaboration between Norm, Danish ceramicist Maj-Brit Würtz and Nærvær’s Head Chef Yves Le Lay, who worked together to create a unique collection of handmade pottery to complement the restaurant’s food and design. The range is centred around the acceptance of imperfection, and embraces the natural beauty and markings of the clay. It features plates, vases, cups and bowls, all with rustic shapes and earthy tones that form a striking contrast with the building’s clean lines.
Definitely one to add to my must-visit list when I’m next in Copenhagen!
Nærvær, Strandgade 87c st, 1401 Copenhagen, tel: +45 7730 1211
Photography via Norm Architects