“Noma” is dead, long live “Barr”. With their new restaurant in the old rooms, Thorsten Schmidt and René Redzepi are now trying their hand at higher-end everyday food that draws not only on Nordic roots, but is inspired by the entire North European world, from Norway to the British Isles. Moreover, a large number of craft beers are offered, too. After all, “Barr” means barley in Old Norwegian.
The new restaurant’s focus is borne out by the architects at Snøhetta, who have come up with a concept that in terms of materials and colors reflects the same mindset as the range of food and drink. While the menu combines the traditional with new elements, the interior design ostentatiously juxtaposes old and new: The broad newly-made oak floor boards contrast with the rough stone walls. The historical ceiling beams are been supplemented in the intervening spaces by sculpturally shaped wooden planks with brass fittings that reflect the light. The ceiling shapes are reflected in the long wooden bar-top that reaches from one end of the restaurant to the other. Its irregular convex shape is inspired by microscope images of the barley from which it gets its name.
The design references the locality, and not just in formal terms: Almost all the elements of the new restaurant’s interior are made of local materials and were produced by local craftsmen. For example, all the timber used was felled close to Copenhagen.
Snøhetta was also in charge of the “Barr’s” overall visual appearance. Among other things, the office developed a new font called “Barr Gräbenbach”. The furnishings in the restaurant proper were, by contrast, designed by Malte Gormsen, who resorted to traditional Danish shapes and crafts techniques. “Our interior,” explains Peter Girgis, Senior Interior Architect at Snøhetta, “on the one hand reflects the identity and philosophy of the ‘Barr’ while on the other keeping memories of the ‘Noma’ alive.”