The Danish design group Salto & Sigsgaard has decided to create a small video for the Danish Design Festival that is taking place these days. The design duo just recently finished their display of the Danish New Carlsberg Foundation – under the theme Transit, Store, Display.
Most people probably connect Carlsberg with the green bottle, but for those of you who wish to broaden your perspective on how this brand originally wished to influence people with something other than alcohol, the New Carlsberg Foundation is a private and independent foundation for the arts.
Now, more than a decade later, the foundation is in the public eye as Danish designer Kasper Salto and his partner Danish architect Thomas Sigsgaard have just finished their updated interior decoration of the foundation’s chambers. The building is normally not accessible to the public, but the design duo saw the Danish Design Festival as an obvious occasion to introduce their work and the special location to design- and architectural lovers.
‘The process and the result are a dream come true,’ says Kasper Salto as DANISH™ meets up with him and Thomas Sigsgaard in Copenhagen. He continues: ‘The minute we agreed on the overall idea, which was actually already at our initial meeting, we were met with an enormous amount of trust, will and a desire to create quality.’
The effort to foster and benefit the arts in the founders’ fatherland forms the core of the foundation’s charter, signed on 20 January 1902 by brewer Carl Jacobsen and his wife, Ottilia Jacobsen. Therefore, following pieces of art going in and out, accommodating different periods and durations, the foundation was in need of an update to the existing interior designed in the 1970s by renowned Danish architect Wilhelm Wohlert.
The overall idea Salto is talking about, which arose at the very first meeting, was to create the ambience of a workshop: ‘When working with retail customers we talk a lot about “as much as possible for less”. Here we, despite our awe towards the task, suggested doing the opposite – and luckily they saw the idea and from there we hit it off!’
A Window to an Unknown World
Thomas Sigsgaard very quickly defined the purpose of the new interior decoration as TSD – not a new drug or a quick fix, but a way of simply describing the flow of the house: Transit, Store, Display. In other words, the new interior should be able to cope with huge art pieces, small decos, books and similar ‘stuff’ related to art, managing to showcase the items as well as store them so that they are easy accessible when they are moved on to new destinations. This resulted in the open shelving system, where each shelf was made by hand as every measurement changed to within an inch in the old chambers:
‘I’ve never experienced a measurement so thoroughly in my career. Tricky, yes – but intriguing for our design process and definitely part of creating our idea to phase in the employees from the vivid heart of the house to the more quiet offices,’ Sigsgaard tells us as he showcases a funnel with his hands.
Neither of the two is involved with art in their daily life, which caused them to spend quite a good bit of the process doing research in collaboration with the employees to make sure that every need was taken care of before reaching the finishing line.
‘Sometimes this means maybe doing stuff that later on turns out not to be necessary – but better this than winding up missing out on a lot of needs that the user was not aware of before they were no longer present,’ says Sigsgaard. He continues: ‘We always use this process. It is the core of design thinking. It does not matter whether we do workspaces, offices, librarys or chairs.’
The last thing he mentions is, funnily enough, the next project the duo has moved on to. Being the proud ‘parents’ of The Council Chair manufactured by Danish Onecollection, the duo is now diving into how to design siblings.
The Council Chair was originally designed for The Trusteeship Council Chamber, United Nations in New York in 2013.
Here you can read more about how Salto&Sigsgaard worked with The New Carlsberg Foundation which was designed in collaboration with Elgaard Arhitecture and Onecollection