In Denmark, dining out is more than just an activity, it's an experience. A good restaurant is not just about the food, but also about the atmosphere, the design, and the service, ensuring that patrons leave not just with a full belly, but with a feeling of complete contentment. It was this ultimate sense of satisfaction that design firm OEO Studio set out to achieve in designing the re-launch of Michelin starred restaurant, Kadeau, in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Owner Nicolai NÃ¸rregard was adamant about capturing the essence of the lush nature that is on Bornholm, a tiny Baltic sea island that is covered in conifer trees and ringed with sandy beaches. Being able to take the spirit of natural environments and translate it into tangible design is something that OEO Studio's Founding Partner and Creative Director Thomas Lykke is known for.
Hours of conversation between Lykke and NÃ¸rregard led to the assembly of a very select group of manufacturers known for their exquisite detailing and bespoke creations, including Dinesen, Electrolux Grande Cuisine, and Garde HvalsÃ¸e. Lykke began the project with a meditation on the intersection between the tranquility of Bornholm and the sophistication of Copenhagen, of how to bring the rural into the urban. Kadeau's entrance is hidden behind an inky blue wooden faÃ§ade, in which access is gained only by ringing the doorbell and granted entry. This makes the restaurant a destination in itself, just as it would be if one were to travel to Bornholm. Upon entry, guests are led down an atmospheric painted corridor, passing by a bespoke oxidized copper art wall, illuminated with IC S2 pendant lights designed by Michael Anastassiades for Flos. The corridor floor is tiled with Kolumba tile K43 designed by Peter Zumthor for Petersen Tegl.
Patrons are treated to a glimpse of the open plan kitchen and the option to relax with a pre-dinner cocktail in the library lounge before being seated in the intimate dining room with large panoramic windows featuring views of the courtyard, the kitchen, or both. Although a single room, the dining space was designed to provide a sense of privacy for guests both through the placement of the furniture and with hanging wooden room dividers. The amount of finest quality wood used throughout Kadeau is remarkable. Working with Dinesen, arguably one of the finest wooden flooring manufacturers in the world, together they created an extra large herringbone design using Douglas fir, stained with an anthracite coloured oil. Sparing no expense in every detail, Dinesen oak was used for the bespoke designed waiter stations, wine and preserves cabinets, as well as the dining tables.
The furniture throughout the Kadeau is a carefully selected mixture of new, bespoke, and vintage pieces, including CH24 Wishbone chairs by Carl Hansen and Son, Black Thonet 209P chairs, the Beetle stools by GamFratesi for Gubi, and the Holmquist Paradis sofa. The signature dining chair, Theodor, was designed by OEO Studio specifically for Kadeau and manufactured by Brdr. KrÃ¼ger. The illumination is a mix of mood and technical lighting, primarily from Flos.
Generally when designing a restaurant, the front and back of the house are two very separate projects. The focus for the kitchen is in having exceptional cooking elements, appliances and adequate working space, with design as an afterthought. Not so with Kadeau. OEO Studio put as many design elements into the kitchen as they did throughout the restaurant itself. Garde HvalsÃ¸e, who are renown for their handcrafted kitchen cabinetry were brought in to create wooden islands and storage that integrated seamlessly with the Electrolux Grande Cuisine blast chiller, combination oven induction zone hob, sear oven and stand mixer. As with every other detail, lightning was also thoughtfully chosen, and chefs create Kadeau's dishes under Glo-Ball Mini C/W ceiling lights by Jasper Morrison for Flos. The result is not just a kitchen, but a theatrical workshop.
Kadeau opened in early 2016 to rave reviews from both food critics and design industry professionals across the globe. OEO Studio, founded in 2003, is already well known in the textiles and objects arenas, having teamed up with various Japanese designers and studios, as well as creating for Georg Jensen, Mater, Wallpaper* Handmade, among others. With the success of Kadeau, we are expecting that OEO Studio's heartfelt designs and attention to detail will be in big demand among hospitality project owners in the near future.
Kadeau interior photos by Marie Louise Munkegaard