- Project Name
- Noma 2.0
- Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)
- 13,885 sq. feet
- Year Completed
- Shared by
Bjarke Ingels, partner-in-charge
Finn Nørkjær, partner-in-charge
Ole Elkjær-Larsen, project manager
Tobias Hjortdal, project manager
- Project Status
From the May 2019 Issue of ARCHITECT:
A new home for one of the world’s top restaurants creates intimate and varied dining experiences.
Culinary adventurers everywhere know of Noma: The eatery in Copenhagen, Denmark, sports two Michelin stars, has garnered countless other awards, and is regularly named the best restaurant in the world. So when the establishment announced it was moving to a new home, it seemed only fitting that it would turn to celebrated Danish firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)—a fellow Scandinavian giant with a global reputation for invention—to design it for them. The outcome is a space that engages all the senses and abounds with visual and haptic delights that should pair perfectly with the restaurant’s classic-contemporary fare.
Surrounded by water, and on the site of a former military installation in the neighborhood of Christiania, the new location is housed in a series of pavilions backed up by an existing shed-like structure, which is partially colonized by back-of-house facilities and surrounded by an all-weather vegetable garden housed in several greenhouses. Each of the new spaces (the interiors of which were developed in collaboration with Copenhagen-based Studio David Thulstrup) is distinguished by its own ambiance, with floor plans, skylights, sliding doors, and picture windows all alternating in configuration and scale from room to room. Ceilings range from simple A-frame gables, to overlapping planks, to a ribbed sequence of beams that vary in angle and height to create a gratifying, upside-down topography.
Unifying this ever-shifting interior landscape is a material palette of wood, brick, and glass, brought together with a Nordic flare that feels both homey and urbane, as well as an ingenious overall planning scheme that allows the main kitchen to be visible from every dining area. The chefs, conversely, enjoy a view outward that reaches every single seat in the restaurant, ensuring an organic connection between staff and clientele that promises to make Noma’s new location as much of a pilgrimage site as its old one.
Project: Noma 2.0, Copenhagen, Denmark
Architect: Bjarke Ingels Group, Copenhagen, Denmark, and New York . Bjarke Ingels, Finn Nørkjær (partners-in-charge); Ole Elkjær-Larsen, Tobias Hjortdal (project managers); Frederik Lyng (project leader); Olga Litwa, Lasse-Lyhne-Hansen, Athena Morella, Enea Michelesio, Jonas Aarsø Larsen, Eskild Schack Pedersen, Claus Rytter Bruun de Neergaard, Hessam Dadkhah, Allen Dennis Shakir, Göcke Günbulut, Michael Kepke, Stefan Plugaru, Borko Nikolic, Dag Præstegaard, Timo Harboe Nielsen, Margarita Nutfulina, Nanna Gyldholm Møller, Joos Jerne, Kim Christensen, Tore Banke, Kristoffer Negendahl, Jakob Lange, Hugo Yun Tong Soo, Morten Roar Berg, Yan Ma, Tiago Sá, Ryohei Koike, Yoko Gotoh, Kyle Thomas David Tousant, Geoffrey Eberle, Jonseok Hang, Ren Yang Tan, Nina Vuga, Giedrius Mamavicius, Yehezkiel Wiliardy, Simona Reiciunaite, Yunyoung Choi, Vilius Linge, Tomas Karl Ramstrand, Aleksander Wadas, Andreas Mullertz, Angelos Siampakoulis, Manon Otto, Carlos Soriah (project team)
Interior Designer: Studio David Thulstrup
Electrical Engineer: Helden
Ventilation/Water/Plumbing Engineer: LuVa Consult
Construction Engineer: BIG Engineering
Wind Consultant: BIG Ideas
Landscape Architect Consultant: Thing Brandt Landskab
Lighting Consultant: Anker & Co.
Listed Building Adviser: Elgaard Architecture
Site/Project Manager: NT Consulting
Fire Consultant: COWI
Size: 1,290 square meters (13,885 square feet)
This project won a 2019 AIA Institute Honor Award for Interior Architecture
On a site between two lakes near Copenhagen, this new restaurant occupies a former military warehouse once used by the Royal Danish Navy to store sea mines. Now an intimate culinary garden village, Noma deepens the existing relationship between client and architect, and greets guests with a new menu and guiding philosophy.
The architect’s collaboration with Noma, which boasts two Michelin stars and four World’s Best Restaurant titles from Restaurant Magazine, began when the restaurant opened 14 years ago. The long-lasting relationship was the key to understanding the client’s needs for the restaurant’s new home. Emphasis was placed on livability to create an atmosphere in which guests and staff feel at home and connected to the nature surrounding them.
The overarching design goal was to dissolve the restaurant’s individual functions while organizing them around a collection of separate but connected buildings. The dining experience begins and ends with the chefs, and throughout a total of 11 spaces—each playing its own role—they remain at the restaurant’s heart. From their panoptic service kitchen, the chefs can see into every corner, while guests are afforded views of what happens inside traditionally closed kitchens.
Just like the restaurant’s ingredients, all of the building materials were locally sourced. Definitively Scandinavian, a 40-seat main dining room and adjacent private dining room are made from stacked timber planks evoking an orderly lumber yard. A skylight and large windows offer guests views of the restaurant’s permagarden and a connection to all seasons.
Each of the 11 separate spaces is connected by glass-covered paths so that the staff and guests can follow changes in weather and daylight, further marrying the environment to the dining experience. Guests are encouraged to explore the buildings and enjoy the Nordic construction techniques and materials. Noma’s barbecue feels much like a giant but welcoming hut, while the lounge, made entirely of brick, echoes the vibe of a cozy fireplace.
FROM THE ARCHITECTS:
Situated between two lakes and within the community of Christiania, the new Noma is built on the site of a protected ex-military warehouse once used to store mines for the Royal Danish Navy. Imagined as an intimate culinary garden village, guests are welcomed to experience a new menu and philosophy that will redefine Noma for years to come.
Central to the design was the idea of dissolving the restaurant’s individual functions and organising them into a collection of separate yet connected buildings. A total of 11 spaces, each tailored to their specific needs and built of the finest materials best suited for their functions, are densely clustered around restaurant’s heart putting the chefs at the heard of it all. Every part of the restaurant experience - the arrival, the lounge, the barbeque, the wine selection and the private company - are 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 40-cover dining room and adjacent private dining room are made of stacked timber planks that resemble neatly piled wood at a lumber yard. A large skylight and an expansive set of windows that slide to reveal the outdoor permagarden allow guests to truly sense all of the seasons and the restaurant’s natural surrounds. Outside, the restaurant’s three greenhouses are used as a garden, test kitchen and bakery.
Each ‘building within the building’ is connected by glass covered paths for chefs and guests to follow the changes in weather, daylight and seasons - making the natural environment an integral part of the culinary experience. Guests have the opportunity to walk through each of the surrounding buildings and to experience a variety of Nordic materials and building techniques: the barbecue is a giant walk-in hut, and the lounge looks and feels like a giant, cozy fireplace made entirely of brick inside and out.