top

Smørrebrød is out

Copenhagen has one of the best burger grills in the world. David Thulstrup designed the latest outlet with a little help from a firm in Frankfurt.
Text by Fabian Peters, Photos by Hampus Berndtson | 2/25/2020

There have been several gourmet success stories from Copenhagen in recent years. Naturally, the most famous example is the celebrated Noma restaurant, whose chef René Redzepi succeeded almost single-handedly in moving Scandinavian cuisine to the very center of the gourmet universe. When "Noma" relocated the year before last designer David Thulstrup was commissioned with fitting out the new building designed by BIG. While it pursues a totally different concept to the Noma, the critics have already heaped praise on Copenhagen’s Gasoline Grill. Indeed, it was recently selected by the Bloomberg news portal as one of the world’s 27 best burger joints – an honor that in continental Europe otherwise only a restaurant in Paris has ever been granted. And it is obvious that the growing success of such outlets has gone hand in hand with greater expectations when it comes to their design. The original restaurant is located in a former gas station – as its name after all suggests. By contrast, the sixth outlet resides in a store with stucco a ceiling in the hip Værnedamyvej neighborhood. Here, again, the interior design is the brainchild of David Thulstrup.

Light, neutral colors predominate in Thulstrup’s new Gasoline Grill: There is light brown terrazzo flooring interspersed with red and white pebbles. The centerpiece of the relatively narrow, elongated main room is a stainless-steel open kitchen. While the counter running around the kitchen is likewise made of stainless steel, the top boasts the selfsame terrazzo used for the floor. The kitchen area is crowned by a delicate canopy that is likewise fashioned of stainless steel. LED fluorescent tubes trace its outlines and reflect their light in the shiny metal.

Around the counter Thulstrup has arranged 25 bar stools custom-made for the “Gasoline Grill”. The solid oak stools not only add a natural touch but also harmonize with the overall color scheme. The few elements of the bar stool are strictly geometrical: a circular seat and base joined by a vertical plank to form a chunky leg. Another rectangular board serves as a footrest. In its consistent geometry the chair that Thulstrup christened "Tank" almost recalls the furniture designs by Gerrit Rietveld. Incidentally, the stool was designed by the Frankfurt-based e15 label, which recently also caused a stir by translating David Chipperfield’s ideas for the James Simon Galerie in Berlin from a drawing into furniture.

The design of the new “Gasoline Grill” intimates precisely those characteristics that are so close to the heart of the restaurant’s founders: Top quality, no superfluous frills, and transparency in the making – all features that also helped the cuisine championed by Noma gain world fame. Perhaps David Thulstrup has been involved in the next gourmet wonder from Denmark.