BarrPhotography by Line Klein • October 30, 2017
Acclaimed chef René Redzepi recently teamed up with his friend and chef Thorsten Schmidt, as well as the Oslo office of Snøhetta to devise Barr, housed in the former space of his trendsetting restaurant Noma (which is moving to an urban farm in Copenhagen) in the landmark North Atlantic House building. Barr is casual in mood but serious in culinary ambitions. “Noma was Nordic cool—very pale tones contrasting with dark furniture,” says Snøhetta senior interior architect Peter Girgis. “We wanted to create a warmer space with the feeling of a pub using oiled wood.”
Barr is Old Norse for barley, a key ingredient in the many craft beers that are offered, as well as in such humble dishes as Danish meatballs and schnitzel. (Look close and you’ll find a relief pattern of barley milled into the wall and ceiling panels.) That gave one cue for the new design, along with the chef’s obsessive attention to detail and a menu that draws on traditional dishes from all over northern Europe. Working with a Danish carpenter, locally sourced milled oak panels are inserted between the old roof beams and attached to the walls with brass rivets, contrasting the smooth-surfaced oiled oak tables, a response to “the massive scale of the warehouse,” he says. The oak floor was sanded to its natural tone and sealed, with the whitewashed brick walls around the deep-set windows acting as a foil. The final product is quintessentially Danish with an emphasis on craft, comfort, and natural materials, looking as though it has been around for several years.