Designed as a place for quiet luxury, the rooms at Villa are designed to be a moment of escape and slowing down, a connection to the beauty of Copenhagen.
Uniquely situated between the areas of Vesterbro and Fredriksburg, with its young and design-influenced crowd, as well as the historic and smart city-centre, the brief called for designs well suited for both leisure as well as business travellers, locals and guests.
The approach from inception was to create the antithesis of a staged heritage interior, rooms that feel contemporary but right in that building. Softly layering up elements from the building’s history, context and the warmth of Danish design. We compared this to the feeling of an apartment converted from a grand residence; contemporary, uncluttered and calming.
Surprisingly based on the exterior, no original features inside the guestrooms remained. These were removed in the 1960’s and 1970s as a functioning office of the Danish post service. The design process began by mapping the building’s interior and carefully choosing what to restore or reinstall; original period features such as grand window surrounds, timber panelling, cornices, flooring and architraves.
Copenhagen has a beautiful quality of light that we were keen to express. A soft palette of sludgy grey-green, dark brick-red and ochre colours, inspired by the paintings of Wilhelm Hammershøi was used to extend this light into the rooms. Marble sills and brass details reflect light, and an internal window of textured glass brings natural light into the bathrooms. Layouts are arranged to give places for connection to light and views, as much a place to work as to dine or relax.
Inspired by archive photography from the former post office, a suite of pendant, wall-mounted lamps and table lights were designed exclusively for the project. Crafted in opal glass, brass, bronze, brushed ash and linen, by Flos in Italy.
Further custom pieces including oversized linen bedheads, upholstered benches, oiled walnut desks, open wardrobes and marble credenzas are layered with classic designs from a roll-call of renowned Danish names. Pieces by Finn Juhl, Ole Wanscler, Nanna Ditzel and Borge Morgenson are given space alongside contemporary designers such as Nick Ross, Andreas Engesvik and Jasper Morrison, often in custom colourways developed with Sahco and Kvadrat. Curated by Sune Nordgren, a unique one-off hand drawing in charcoal, by Berlin-based Norwegian artist Bente Stokke features in every room.
As a long-term approach to sustainability, materials were selected to wear-in and not wear-out, and importantly, things can be repaired as they age. Linen, silk, European marble, oak, walnut, painted timber, glass and raw brass were chosen to develop a rich patina over time. Bathrooms feature axor fittings, zellige and nero marquina tiles.
Micro-stories of locality, supporting local industry, were weaved throughout. As an example, the desk chairs are made to a little known classic Danish design from 1959 by one small family-owned cabinet makers, made using German-oak and contemporary Danish fabrics, made in a factory just three hours drive from Copenhagen.