When the first Kadeau opened on Bornholm in 2007, the idea was to draw on the surrounding nature, turning the tastes and smells of the island into the dishes the restaurant served. It was this deep-held passion for the landscape of Denmark that has provided the inspiration for OeO Studio as they set about designing a new home for Kadeau’s second outpost in the København area of the Copenhagen.
OeO Studio sought to get under the skin of the Kadeau universe. This involved many hours of intense dialogue with Head Chef Nicolai Nørregaard and his team to create a shared understanding of the driving passions behind Kadeau. For OeO the design of Kadeau was not just about creating the physical environment but also about using design to shape the atmosphere of the restaurant and the whole dining experience.
The culinary roots of Kadeau Copenhagen lie in the small Danish island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea. Nicolai Nørregaard’s love of his native small island thick with conifer forests and ringed with sandy beaches is evident in everything the restaurant does. Dining at Kadeau is an immaculate, sophisticated experience that is about celebrating the smallest of details and Nørregaard challenged OeO to create a holistic experience for Kadeau Copenhagen – a universe where guests feel they are dining at his home alongside dear friends.
For the design of Kadeau, OeO Studio left no surface untouched. All the materials, colours and design solutions used have been carefully composed to create just the right feeling, ambiance and sense of place. Kadeau Copenhagen is quite literally cut off from the outside world – the restaurant is hidden behind an inky blue wooden facade and visitors must ring a bell to gain admission. Behind this door OeO Studio, working with Dinesen, Electrolux Grand Cuisine and Garde Hvalsøe, has created a space that brings the rural splendour of Bornholm to Copenhagen.
On entering Kadeau, guests pass down an atmospheric corridor painted oxide black with a bespoke art wall in oxidized copper, all lit by a series of IC S2 pendant lights designed by Michael Anastassiades for Flos. The floor of the corridor is tiled with Kolumba tile K43 designed by Peter Zumthor for Petersen Tegl.
Towards the end of the corridor you glimpse the open kitchen though a bespoke cabinet containing a wall of glass jars containing the preserved foraged fruits and herbs from Bornholm that are so central to chef Nicolai Nørregaard’s style of cooking. The corridor then opens out onto the open plan oak kitchen with its wood fired oven on the left and a library lounge on the right that leads to a private garden.
Beyond the kitchen and library lounge sits an intimate dining area with its large panoramic windows facing the courtyard. The dining area is one open space, yet OeO has designed the space so that it still affords a sense of privacy. A seat at any of the eight tables provides views to either the courtyard or the open kitchen – or both – allowing guests to engage with the restaurant yet feel cocooned.
Commenting on the design of the dining room, Thomas Lykke, Creative Director, Designer & Founding Partner of OeO Studio says: ‘It was very important to us that the dining room was to feel like no other. We wanted to create an experience where the materials speak to you and where they age beautifully – a space with an instant sense of soul and charisma.’
Lykke adds: ‘The tactile materials, the art and the bespoke design all lend the space a sense of warmth and intimacy where you forget about time and simply indulge in good company.’
To realise the new restaurant, Lykke and Nørregaard assembled a handpicked group of partners to bring their expertise and create a series of bespoke design solutions for Kadeau.
Commentating on the choice to work with Dinesen, Electrolux Grand Cuisine and Garde Hvalsøe, Nicolai Nørregaard says: ‘Our collaborators on the Kadeau project have all been individually selected for their ultimate sense of quality, which is evident right down to the smallest of details – nothing has been left to chance. The new Kadeau is a living tribute to their commitment to ultimate quality, detail, passion and craftsmanship.’
For the kitchen OeO chose to work with Garde Hvalsøe with whom they have long shared a passion for wood, craftsmanship and quality. Garde Hvalsøe is renowned for their magnificently handcrafted kitchen cabinetry and for Kadeau, they have created a design that blends beautifully with the restaurant interiors, like a crafted piece of furniture more than a conventional kitchen.
Garde Hvalsøe worked with Nørregaard to understand the choreography of a Michelin star kitchen but the final design also needed to realise a functional space that encorporated applicances by Electrolux Grand Cuisine. The final kitchen, with its series of wooden islands made from Dinesen Heart Oak, feels more like a workshop than a kitchen, due in part to how Garde Hvalsøe have expertly and seamlessly incorporated a Electrolux Grand Cuisine blast chiller, combination oven induction zone hob, sear oven and stand mixer into their exquisite cabinetry. Glo-Ball Mini C/W ceiling lights by Jasper Morrison for Flos light the kitchen and create a real sense of theatre.
For the floor of the main dining room OeO worked with its long term collaborator Dinesen to create an extra large herringbone design made of Dinesen Grand Pattern in Douglas fir stained with an anthracite coloured oil. Dinesen Oak and Heart Oak is used for the OeO designed waiter-stations, wine cabinet, preserves cabinet and the dining tables, and also in the hanging room dividers that dissect the space and help create the important sense of intimacy.
The furnishings throughout Kadeau have been carefully selected and are a mix of new, vintage and bespoke pieces and include the Gubi Beetle Stools by GamFratesi, and the Holmquist Paradis Sofa as well as Black Thonet 209P Chairs and Vintage CH 24 Wishbone Chairs. All tables have been designed and made exclusively for Kadeau using Dinesen Oak, while Danish furniture manufacturer Brdr. Krüger produced Theodor, a signature-dining chair designed by OeO in Dinesen Oak especially for Kadeau.
The lighting throughout Kadeau is a mix of mood and technical lighting, primarily from Flos, which blends perfectly to support the dining experience from start to finish. With Kadeau Copenhagen, OeO Studio has created an authentic homage to the spiritual home of Kadeau in Bornholm yet created something that sits well in its Copenhagen setting.
Photography by Yuta Sawamura