When the long-established Danish company Fredericia Furniture holds evening events in its new showroom, international guests can stroll among the classic pieces of Danish furniture design on display and enjoy the breathtaking views of Copenhagen and the city lights below. Above them, carefully positioned spotlights set into the black Troldtekt acoustic ceiling panels direct their attention at exclusive furniture designs by Børge Mogensen, Hans J. Wegner and other renowned Danish designers.
In close dialogue with Fredericia Furniture, Aarstiderne Arkitekter has transformed the former headquarter of the Royal Danish Mail into a modern workplace with a rooftop showroom in premises that previously housed the Post & Tele Museum.
“Essentially, the task has involved getting to the heart and soul of the building and drawing out the best qualities. The people at Fredericia Furniture are connoisseurs who love the classic features of the building. The primary focus is to display furniture, but the premises are also a workplace which is tailored to co-working. Therefore, it was important to have good lighting and good acoustics in every room,” explains creative director Mette Gravergaard from Aarstiderne Arkitekter’s space planning department.
White stucco and black Troldtekt
The history of the building shines through on the floor beneath the showroom, where a beautiful stucco ceiling has been preserved. Consequently, the room has been decorated in light colours and partitioned with glass and wooden strips with acoustic cladding on the back. This is in sharp contrast to the dark colours and masculine materials such as steel and concrete that dominate the showroom above.
“The showroom is an event space, where evening events can be held with music and fine dining from on-site chefs. The interior has therefore been made to exude a unique atmosphere, and black provides the right ‘backdrop’ for guests in festive wear. The entire floor is designed to resemble a home, where furniture which is better suited for darker surroundings is placed on display. We have used the ceiling to draw attention to the fantastic views across the rooftops of Copenhagen,” says Mette Gravergaard.
Black is not easy
Having a black ceiling needs thinking about carefully, especially as regards the lighting. It is important to compensate with light if you go for the dark look, stresses Mette Gravergaard:
“When choosing a black ceiling, you must always bear in mind what the room is going to be used for. Black ceilings can add a special air of quality and elegance – as long as the design is carefully thought-out and coordinated. Our lighting solution for the room therefore relies on directional spotlights blending unobtrusively into the black ceiling. Having the same lighting everywhere would be rather dull.”