Dinesen is a family-owned company founded in 1898 in the small town of Jels in the southern part of Jutland. Craftsmanship and tradition are of great importance; however this does not prevent the company from entering into a new phase. Their new showroom in Copenhagen emphasises that there is much more to the brand than just floors.
The Danish design studio OeO is run by Thomas Lykke and Anne-Marie Buemann. We met up with Creative Director Thomas Lykke to talk about their ideas and the concept for the design of Dinesen’s new showroom.
DANISH™: What was your approach to designing a showroom for a flooring company?
Thomas: A floor is made for a functional reason – to walk on obviously! A Dinesen floor is made out of the best quality wood – the finest oak and the best Douglas Fir. To us it was about the material and all the qualities related to the material. Our approach when designing the showroom was to create a universe that embraces those qualities – a universe that inspires and communicates the diversity and beauty of Dinesen wood.
From perfect to imperfect – from extra wide to slim – from white and natural to colourful – from minimal to bold – a coherent and complete designed experience made out of a shared mind-set and passion for wood. It is a universe that communicates to the viewer on an emotional level and elevates the Dinesen brand to being much more than a flooring company.
DANISH™: When you walk into the showroom it is very clear that each room has its own unique style. How did you decide the look of each room?
Thomas: There are two ‘universes’ in the showroom: ‘Tree of a Kind’ and ‘Extraordinary by Nature’. It was clear from the beginning that we wanted to differentiate the two. The different styles and directions was a decision based on the original building and structure and gut feeling. ‘Tree of a Kind’ is a naked raw room – almost like a white canvas.
The original structure became our canvas and we used Dinesen wood to create a building within the building. The room is the canvas, Dinesen is the paint and the result is the final composition and art piece. ‘Tree of a Kind’ is modern and more gallery-like than a classic showroom – it is daring, welcoming and inspiring.
The other part of the showroom is ‘Extraordinary by Nature’, which is a modern interpretation of Danish Neo Classicism and old Copenhagen. It is a tribute to history, to Hammershøj and it is done with great respect. The experience we hope to give people is that they feel they are visiting friends or family – we want people to be embraced by the atmosphere. There is not a surface or an inch that has not been touched or designed.
DANISH™: The building is rather old; did you have its history in mind when designing the space?
Thomas: We did, especially in the ‘Extraordinary by Nature’ and more classic part of the showroom. We paid respect to the legacy and to the history of the building – to neo classicism with an inspired eye to the future. Classic with a twist.
DANISH™: Dinesen is mostly known for making wooden floorboards; however, the new showroom demonstrates a lot of other possibilities as well. Is every option from Dinesen’s range of products incorporated into the showroom?
Thomas: I don’t know if every option is incorporated into the showroom. But in terms of wood, planks, treatments I think we have covered most of them.
Over the next few years I think we will see many more options and solutions from Dinesen. New floor concepts, new treatments and also new types of offerings – as long as they are made from a plank and can be made at the Dinesen factory in Denmark and as long as it makes sense from a brand and business perspective – I don’t see why not. They have so much to offer the world.
DANISH™: You have made an interesting piece of art based around a baby Douglas Fir from the Black Forest. What was the idea behind this?
Thomas: The idea behind the Baby Douglas Fir was to put the extra long, extra wide into a context and to remind people of the very beginning a tiny mini tree that grows to become a 60 metre tall tree 60 years later and that very tree is what becomes a beautiful long piece of wood that can be either an immaculate floor or an extra-long 15 metre table. It is always good to put things in a context for people to understand and value what it is.
DANISH™: There is a wine cellar in the showroom; how did that come about?
Thomas: The idea of the wine cellar fitted perfectly with the idea of ‘Extraordinary by Nature’ with a ballroom, private dining, and library. So of course we then needed a private wine cellar to complete the experience.
DANISH™: Where does the wine come from?
Thomas: The wine cellar is run by Péttilant, who also provides the wine for restaurants like Noma, Kadeau etc.
DANISH™: What is the impression you hope people will leave the showroom with?
Thomas: I hope they leave with a ‘wow, that was inspiring’ or ‘I want to live there!’ Our hope is that people feel welcome, inspired and that they will start dreaming of owning their own Dinesen floor made of either side plank, HeartOak or extra long and wide Douglas.
Explore Dinesen’s new showroom: Søtorvet 5, 1371 Copenhagen.