POPL Restaurant / Spacon & X
Text description provided by the architects. POPL Restaurant, Copenhagen – Concept, Space and Furniture Architecture and design studio Spacon & X has been enlisted to design the space for POPL, a new restaurant within the noma family. For the project, the Copenhagen-based studio has collaborated with German interior brand e15 to unveil a range of custom-made furniture.
Izakaya, the informal drinking establishments of Japan, guide the design concept of the restaurant, while the name itself – derived from Latin word ‘populus’ meaning ‘community of people’ – reflects the spirit and heart of POPL, which brings people together in Copenhagen’s picturesque Christianshavn neighbourhood. Born out of noma’s summer pop-up, the restaurant concept aims to now permanently broaden the culinary horizons of the humble burger, now implemented into new settings designed by Spacon & X.
The warm, simple and striking interior designed by Spacon & X, with bespoke interior elements, handcrafted glass- and paper lamps and artworks is paired with a collection of custom-made furniture by Spacon & X made in collaboration with e15. The main material palette consists of naturally oiled brown core ash wood combined with a warm palette of poppy reds, muted greens and meadow flowers to reflect both Denmark’s four seasons and POPL’s seasonal menu.
“We have been asked by René Redzepi to design noma’s new restaurant concept. We have always admired noma’s approach to its products – from the individual ingredients to the holistic experience, each element demonstrates great attention to detail. This is also how we approached the design for POPL – and the design of the custom-made furniture in the space. With attention and care for the details and with the goal to recreate the warm welcome noma is so well known for.” Malene Hvidt, architect and partner at Spacon & X The Space Housed inside a former warehouse, the POPL space combines industrial elements with natural materials and textures to create an inviting space that generates warmth and comfort.
Spacon & X transformed the 500 sq m expanse, enhancing the concrete pillars and brickwork of the original structure with a purposely built ‘plant bridge’ to highlight the height of the interior and to create a more intimate feel for diners below. A dynamic and flexible eating arrangement provides the possibility of arranging intimate zones within the high ceiling space, allowing visitors to easily eat apart to fulfil distance requirements, but also suited for those dining solo.
The handcrafted furniture and flexible seating arrangements – such as high-back and low upholstered seating in yellow leather – transport the look and feel of the classic American diner to the heart of Copenhagen. Acoustic panels lined with dried and compressed meadow flowers, cover the ceiling and add tactility, while the flower’s subtle aroma of pepper and sweet spice, exudes a harmonious scent throughout the space. Collaboration with e15 The furniture, designed and produced by Spacon & X in collaboration with e15, illustrates simplicity and authentic artisanship in its archetypal structure.
Crafted of brown core ash wood, the bespoke collection comprises chairs, stools, coat hangers and various tables, the latter featuring tabletops made out of Richlite, a durable composite of recycled paper and bio resin. “For me, the focus of this project is on the use of natural materials and craftsmanship. This is very much in line with the approach to our work at e15.” Philipp Mainzer, e15 founder The Menu The POPL team – a group of noma veterans – celebrates the vibrant Copenhagen community of producers that the noma family has been working with over the past 17 years.
From platemakers, to biodynamic farmers and fermenters, to brewers and winemakers, POPL is a place for everyone to come together with family and friends over the simple joy of a well-crafted burger. The concept behind the menu is based on five key burgers, with classic options made using organic Danish beef that comes courtesy of the west coast of Denmark in the Danish Wadden Sea National Park. Guests can also enjoy vegetarian and vegan options, quinoa tempeh from the noma fermentation lab, or quick bites to eat including fermented mild chillies and a shot of organic rye whiskey to experience the restaurant’s unique take on haute cuisine.