"We wanted to create an experimental and artistic universe," says Normann Copenhagen's Brand Manager Britt Bonnesen, who designed the new showroom together with Designer Hans Hornemann.
Britt and Hans both have great insights into the Normann Copenhagen brand. Britt is the creative behind the visual expression and colors of the brand, while Hans has created a number of products and fair stands, since he joined the company in 2013, such as the Ace Collection and the fair stands for Maison et Objet in Paris and Salone del Mobile in Milan. This is the first time Hans and Britt worked on designing retail space.
INDUSTRIAL RAWNESS IN THE HALL
We meet Britt Bonnesen and Hans Hornemann at the Normann Copenhagen showroom, where they will take us on a guided tour, while we talk about their thoughts behind the new design.
When we enter the showroom, located on Østerbrogade in Copenhagen, we find ourselves in a long hallway of brushed, stainless steel, with a 3-meter long counter made out of beautiful terrazzo standing in the entry.
"The idea was not to just make a new furniture shop," Hans Hornemann says, "but to create a space that resembles the design DNA of Normann Copenhagen and showcases the visual identity of what Normann Copenhagen is."
"We looked at the needs we have. Besides being a retail store, we also often welcome our international customers here. So we sought to create a space that works both as a store and a showroom," Britt explains. "The terrazzo bar in the entrance, for example, functions as a cashier but also as a reception," she adds.
"We want to create experiences that push the boundaries of what is considered the norm."
The floor of the hallway is coated with grey epoxy and lights up through a row of fluorescent lights on the ceiling. "Steel is a cold material, often associated with outdoor facades or machine parts," Hans says. "We want to create experiences that push the boundaries of what is considered the norm. Using unusual materials like these is one way in which we try to achieve this," he explains.
An 18-piece modular sofa stretches through the corridor and contrasts the hardness of the walls and lights. Shades of bright yellows and nudes over various gradients of rust colors and reds create an eye-catching image together with the grey epoxy floor and steel walls.
"The new showroom is intended as a focal point for the brand," Hans goes on. "With the new showroom we are aiming to create a meeting point for international clients, local customers, trading partners, designers and artists," he says.
At the end of the Hall, you are lead onto the Stage and deeper into the Normann Copenhagen universe. "We have created four different sections in the showroom that each have their own atmosphere; they are called Hall, Stage, Ballroom and Gallery," Britt explains.
FIND INDISPENSABLE DESIGN PIECES ON THE STAGE
We enter the Stage, which connects the sleek and streamlined Hall with the grand Ballroom. The Ace collection is on display in an arrangement that invites visitors to take a seat under an impressive installation of 160 Amp lamps hanging from the ceiling.
This is also where the new material library lies. "With the helpful assistance from our staff, you can figure out exactly what color your new dining chair or Krenit bowl should be," Britt says.
"Most of our furniture exists in many different variations, and it is no longer possible to display all combinations physically. For example, the Form chair can be combined in more than 40,000 ways. A traditional store could never exhibit all of them," Hans adds.
He goes on saying, "We have therefore developed a new online product customizer that has been launched alongside our new showroom. Just as you can customize a Nike shoe, our customers can build a chair in their desired color and material, see the price - and order it through the website."
There are iPads available in the showroom, through which shoppers can customise their furniture and order it directly from the store. "That way you can make your order, while remaining seated in the furniture you are buying," Hans adds.
On the stage, we also find the Daily Fiction collection: On powder blue shelves and podiums made of mirror glass, steel, acrylic and terrazzo, the collection of stationery products entices with its myriad notebooks, pens, scissors and paper clips in dazzling color combinations. "It’s like a candy store for grown ups," says Britt.
CLASSIC BEAUTY IN THE BALLROOM
Three wide terrazzo steps lead us down into the grand Ballroom. With a wall height of nine meters, the Ballroom is a monumental space! Hans only hints at the amount of work that has been put into the restoration of the old building, whose former residents include a water distillery, a theatre, a sound studio and a cinema. "A total of eight tons of Italian terrazzo have been used to decorate stairs and details of the new showroom," he tells us.
The colossal, marbled beams shine in polished dark green. "We wanted the beautiful original beams to stand out, so we flew in a specialist in marbling technique from Italy to give the hall's impressive columns new life," Hans says.
"The old cinema salon is an impressive room, and it was important for us to preserve the feeling of space and its exalted atmosphere," Hans says. "At the same time, we wanted to create more intimate environments for you to explore. We worked with movable elements, such as podiums and walls, which can be combined into environments with different expression and flow," he explains.
In the Ballroom, design accessories and furniture pieces with unusual fabrics, are displayed together with fashion items in carefully curated exhibitions. "Fashion is a huge source of inspiration for us. Therefore, it makes sense to preserve the mix of fashion and interior design, which is even more integrated than before," says Britt.
Scandinavian brands such as Acne Studios, Wood Wood, Saks Potts, By Malene Birger or Stine Goya hang side by side with the furniture and accessories.
"Fashion is a huge source of inspiration for us. We carry styles that make a bold statement and suit the trends we believe in."
Britt goes on saying: "We’re going to select the pieces in a different way, where it’s perhaps not as important that we have a certain number of coats to choose from this season, but that we carry styles that make a bold statement and suit the trends we believe in."
AN OCEAN OF PINK IN THE GALLERY
In the middle of the ballroom, a raw metal shaft leads into the Gallery. The staircase is covered in soft, pink carpet, while fluorescent lights lead the way down into the depths of the showroom.
An explosion of pink awaits at the end of the shaft. Walls, floor and ceiling - the room is entirely covered in the bright tint, creating a bizarre yet enticing feeling. The Gallery resembles an ocean of pink, where they eyes can wander from one pink object that is on display to the next, with spots of white being the only things contrasting the pink hues.
"The showroom will also change over time, like a curated art exhibition, so that it can be experienced in new ways."
"This is the first edition of The Gallery, which is intended as an unpredictable and transformative space where anything can happen," Britt explains.
"We want customers to experience what Normann Copenhagen is by going around the different areas of the store, and being surprised by what they find. The showroom will also change over time, like a curated art exhibition, so that it can be experienced in new ways," Britt says.
The new showroom thereby combines elements of an art gallery with a bold and experimental retail design. "When our customers come to visit us in our new showroom, we hope to inspire them and offer a great design experience," she concludes.
If you would like to visit the Normann Copenhagen showroom and store, you can find the address and opening hours here.
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