Architecture and coffee

COBE Architects has a combined reception area and architecture café with a lounge atmosphere. An invitation to the outside world from the world of architecture.

Superior acoustics in the workplace with Troldtekt acoustic ceilings
Photo: Helene Høyer Mikkelsen, architect

Architects and designers are moving into the former warehouses in the Nordhavn waterfront district in Copenhagen, contributing to opening up the area to the public. The Nordhavn district is changing, but retains its charming industrial feel with quays and views of shipping containers.

COBE has relocated its offices from Papirøen – Paper Island – to Nordhavn, where the iconic COBE-designed building, The Silo, has become a landmark for the redeveloped docklands area. Early on in the process, COBE entered into a dialogue with the food and beverage business Depanneur on establishing a café that would be housed in COBE’s new office premises for its 130 employees.

The ambition has been to open up the world of architecture to the public, and to give visitors an insight into the life of architects while enjoying a good cup of coffee and food and drinks as well as magnificent views of the harbour. To complete the mission of interacting with the local area, COBE partnered with Depanneur – a favourite hang-out with Copenhageners.

Architecture and food for all

The result of COBE and Depanneur’s collaboration is an intermezzo between the street and the architects’ offices. The idea was to create a friendly lobby-like vibe, where you can enjoy a cup of coffee or an after-work drink, read a magazine, hold an informal meeting, buy a book or take a look at models of the architects’ latest designs.

Architecture in varying scales mixed with good coffee

The café has been designed by COBE and Depanneur, and the attractive and friendly interior includes both sofa arrangements and a large, central oak plank table that brings people together for informal conversations. The walls are decorated with posters with photographs of some of the drawing office’s many projects, taken by the photographer Rasmus Hjortshøj. Everything is for sale. You can buy posters, books and items designed by COBE from the large shelf that separates the café from the drawing office.

From the café, there is direct access to the waterfront with views of the water and the new metro station Orientkaj, which has been designed by COBE, and which opens in 2020. The architectural models in the café are smaller versions of COBE’s buildings and projects, but if you take a walk around Nordhavn and the rest of Copenhagen, you can see the buildings in full 1:1 scale.

Meeting between COBE and Depanneur

On entering the high-ceilinged warehouse, you step straight into the café, which thus doubles as a relaxed and welcoming entrance area.

The interiors have been designed by COBE with a definite sense for the building’s origins. Importantly, however, the acoustics have been regulated throughout with white Troldtekt acoustic panels between the concrete beams and the generous use of white curtains and wooden furniture.

Despite the café’s high ceilings and rustic feel, there is a very intimate atmosphere, almost compelling you to sit down with a coffee or to take a look at the architectural models or the books and design objects that are on sale.