January 18, 2022

McKenzielee Blog

Wicked Clever House Experts

Norm Architects fashions industrial yet warm interiors for Notabene flagship

3 min read

A harmonious mix of concrete, oakwood and aluminium features in this Copenhagen shoe store, which has been designed by Danish studio Norm Architects.

When it came to devising a fit-out for the Notabene store in Copenhagen’s Old Town, Norm Architects worked on fostering “contrast and beauty” between the site’s existing industrial features and the warm, tactile material palette that the studio felt was representative of the footwear brand.

The store’s main room has exposed concrete walls

Upon entering the store, customers walk into a double-height room with exposed-concrete walls and structural columns.

Natural light pours in from expansive windows that are screened by sheer white curtains.

Minimalist interior of Notabene shoe shop in Copenhagen, by Norm Architects

One side of the room is dominated by a series of slim brushed-aluminum shelves where Notabene presents its shoes.

Items are otherwise displayed on clay plinths, L-shaped slivers of metal or rounded wooden podiums.

Minimalist interior of Notabene shoe shop in Copenhagen, by Norm Architects
One wall features slim aluminium shelves

These podiums, along with the rest of the furnishings in the store, were created by Norm Architects in collaboration with Karimoku Case Study, the sister company of Japanese manufacturer Karimoku.

The company works with different architecture studios to create bespoke collections of furniture for projects, with each project acting as a “case study”.

Oak staircase features in Notabene shoe store designed by Norm Architects
An oak staircase connects the store’s three levels

“As this store is meant to be more of a hub for the Notabene brand, it was also important for us to design a range of furniture that meet the real needs and everyday functions for the Notabene team, while also creating a welcoming and comfortable environment for the guests and customers,” Frederik Werner, partner at Norm Architects, told Dezeen.

“The expressive raw building structure tells tales of various use over time and is juxtaposed by refined Japanese cabinet making, echoing the refinement and precision of the shoemaking process itself,” added Peter Eland, who is also a partner at the studio.

Thick slats of oakwood align to form the balustrade of the store’s staircase, which takes customers down to a shoeshine bar.

Oakwood was also used to clad the majority of the surfaces at this level to forge a cosier and more intimate ambiance.

Minimalist interior of Notabene shoe shop in Copenhagen, by Norm Architects
Downstairs, the store has an oak-lined shoeshine bar

While customers wait to get their shoes serviced, they can relax in a lounge area that is dressed with a sofa and a couple of curved armchairs upholstered in thick bouclé fabric.

A chunky timber counter where they can order a glass of wine or a hot drink sits adjacent to the lounge furniture, while wall-mounted aluminium shelves showcase various shoe care products.

Minimalist interior of Notabene shoe shop in Copenhagen, by Norm Architects
The retail space includes a relaxing lounge area with bouclé seating

The stairs can be taken up to a final mezzanine level where Notabene has a design lab.

This features a large circular work table and a wooden sideboard topped with a small selection of inspiring design and lifestyle books.

Minimalist interior of Notabene shoe shop in Copenhagen, by Norm Architects
On the mezzanine level is Notabene’s design lab

Norm Architects was founded in 2008 by Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen and Kasper Rønn Von Lotzbeck.

As well as Notabene, the studio has completed a few other retail spaces this year – this includes New Mags, a bookstore which takes design cues from traditional libraries, and Dulong, a jewellery showroom that’s meant to resemble an artist’s studio.


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