Getting to Know: Norm.Architects

23 Feb 2017

It is hard not to read a design publication or blog without reading the name Norm.Architects. The internationally renowned design studio was established in 2008 in Copenhagen and is led by architects, Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen, Kasper Ronn von Lotzbeck and Linda Corneal.

 

Norm. Architects works with residential architecture, commercial interiors, industrial design, photography, graphics and art direction. The name Norm indicates the importance of drawing inspiration from traditions and norms that have been refined for many centuries within the field of architecture and aesthetics. Norm makes it a virtue to focus on quality, durability and timelessness.

 

Like true Scandinavians they pride themselves in their culture and history, and hope and aspire to create new norms for Nordic design.

Their ever-growing client list includes well-known design brands such as Menu, &Tradition, Kinfolk Magazine and Ex.t.

 

Meizai was lucky enough to meet some of the Norm team at Salone del Mobile in April 2016 at the launch of their new collection with Italian brand, Ex.t.

 

Read below to learn more about Norm.Architects:

 

Please tell us about your background and the path that led to where you are today and establishing Norm Architects?

With regards to the Ex.t collection we, Jonas and Kasper, have been in charge of the development. We are both educated architects, but even though we share the same taste in design and architecture, the clash of our very different approaches to design is what makes us stand out.

While Jonas have a strong focus on aesthetics, forms, materials and theory, Kasper is more preoccupied with the technology, inventions and new production methods – the engineering of products. We constantly push each other’s ideas and performances forward, and as a result, our designs are taken three steps further than if we were working separately. We feel that our duality of approaches is what creates the cohesion.

We founded Norm Architects in 2008 and expanded the studio two years ago, joining forces with Architect Linda Korndal, who heads the development of architectural and interior projects. Today, we’re six people working with residential architecture, commercial interiors, design strategy, industrial design, photography, graphics and art direction. We found that bridging the disciplines of enables us to create complete and thoughtful narratives out of everything we do.

 

Your studio is based in Copenhagen; tell us three of your favourite things about the city and one must-see for a visitor.

  1. We love that the city is so connected. It’s harmonious, homogenic and clean without being boring. There is a conservative approach to guard the historic elements of the city a well as a creative and innovative approach to city planning. It is a city for walking and biking and it is filled with green areas that are perfect for hanging out in the sun. Summertime is when Copenhagen shines its brightest. In the recent 10 years the city has become more centered towards the water (the harbor), and the different boroughs and areas have become more intertwined and connected with new bridges, biking lanes and pedestrian streets.
  2. It is definitely a city for foodies, fashionistas and design lovers. There are many exciting things happening in Copenhagen right now. The whole movement of NEW NORDIC CUISINE that started with NOMA has really changed the restaurant scene in Copenhagen in a positive way. We have just finished working with COFOCO (Copenhagen Food Company. They have more than 10 restaurants around the centre of Copenhagen) on opening a new restaurant called Höst where we redesigned the building, did the interior and decoration of the whole restaurant. We did everything from lighting and furniture to dinnerware with our own designs. It was an incredible experience to be able to control the whole universe in that space. Höst restaurant won the main prize in London for best looking restaurant in the world.
  3. The architecture here is great; One building that we find interesting is the new Playhouse, which is a spectacular building in a quiet and very tactile way. In opposition to many of the other new buildings along the waterfront, the areas around the playhouse actually attract life. Then of course you have the Arne Jacobsen SAS Royal hotel and the National Bank – both of them modernist buildings in high quality materials. There is the WM bjerget by BIG, where we particularly like the wooden part of the building with all the terraces. You have all the old historic building like the nice little tower in central Copenhagen – Rundetårn – that we can see from the NORM studio’s rooftop.

 

One must-see for a visitor.

We recommend going to some of the up-coming areas such as Jægersborggade and Elmegade on Nørrebro, Istedgade and the Meatpacking district (Kødbyen) on Vesterbro. They all have that great Copenhagen local feeling and they are an abundance of small independent shops, trendy cafes and great restaurants. If you only have a few hours, go to Værnedamsvej between Frederiksberg and Vesterbro fur lunch, hang-out and shopping.

 

How did the collaboration with Ex.t take place for your multiple collections? Were you given a specific design brief, and how did the process work?

We actually defined our own brief. We created a long list of needs which we found wasn’t met anywhere else in the market and then we took it from there.

 

Do you ever struggle for an idea, and if so where do you go to be inspired and help in those moments of creative blocks?

We discuss things a lot and use each other. We get inspiration from so many different things – people, objects, materials and nature, inspire us. It is virtually impossible to single anyone or anything out.

 

The design calendar is filled with trade fairs, events, installations and parties. What is the one event that you can’t miss out on, and why?

We always go to Milan in April. This is a great place in so many ways. The mix between the show rooms and pop-ups in the city and all the designers and manufacturers at the Salone Del Mobile creates a vibrant and never ending source of inspiration. It’s the right mix for us and our needs to gather inspiration for our architectural projects as well as looking for new design talents for our clients like Menu. This year Milan was also relevant to us because Ex-t. launched the new collection we created, which we were obviously extremely excited to see.