Copenhagen is a capital defined by good design. From clever public spaces to furniture studios, we felt that the city breathed creativity.
The term ‘Danish Modern’ came into play in the 1950’s when Arne Jacobsen and others started experimenting with manufacturing processes. While their pieces reshaped the design world, they remained true to the country’s heritage. The quality of workmanship was of the utmost importance.
This fame that Danish aesthetics amassed during the 20th-Century is still felt today. And Scandinavian design is still a symbol of status and tasteful lifestyle.
Each store featured on this guide aims to pay tribute to this. Yet, while they excel in representing the country, they also merge foreign influences in their work. The pieces are aesthetically pleasing and perhaps, more importantly, they bring joy.
For the Wardrobe
Who would visit Copenhagen but failed to browse through the stylish creations of the Acne Studio? While the hefty price tag on the high street is discouraging, there’s a place where those in the know get their designer fix.
Away from the city centre, on a side street of Nørrebro, Acne Archive stores discounted samples, clothes from previous seasons and one-off accessories. Locals joke that this shop is the only reason that tourists visit the neighbourhood. They might be right.
FOR THE HOME
After a pleasant ride along the river to Islands Brygge, we climbed up the stairs to Studio Arhoj warehouse showroom.
An ample, open space with heaps of natural light is dotted with clusters of colour from the several shelves showcasing the studio’s creations. Bowls, cups, plates and more.
Their famed drip glazes are what gave them notoriety but there is so much more to Studio Arhoj. What started in Tokyo is now based in Copenhagen’s harbour district. And successfully synthesises the Scandi design simplicity and Japanese traditional ceramic methods.
According to their manifesto, Studio Arhoj focuses on form rather than on function. Yet manages to create fun and beautiful objects that can still be used in everyday life. The workspace behind the counter gives a glimpse of their processes and is mesmerising to watch.
As serendipity would have it, we would cycle past Tortus in search for a place to eat. Housing a historic building in the centre of town, the shop’s windows display beautifully crafted ceramics.
From the hands of Eric Landon, Tortus delivers high-quality pieces that merge past and future. We took our time in the showroom. Enjoyed the weight of pieces, observing the change in glaze thickness and as we were about to leave we noticed him. At the back, through the courtyard, Eric was working away at the potter’s wheel.
Tortus is the opposite of Studio Arhoj when it comes to aesthetics. The purity of materials, the toned down colour palette and lack of surface decoration makes it feel high end. Like something we would see at Glyptoteket rather than someone’s home.
Studio x Viaduct
On the back of Atelier September, Studio x Viaduct displays a selection of carefully curated design pieces.
Headed by Creative Director Kirstine Meier Carlsen, the boutique and showrooms act as an extension of the café. And the elegant space is the perfect backdrop to display contemporary furniture, lights, ceramics and even literature. Not to be missed.
ILLUM BOLIGHUS — The most famous emporium for all things Scandinavian design.
STUDIO HAY — Established and young Danish designers share Hay's curated catalogue.
WOOD WOOD — Street style inspired store that hosts a myriad of cultural events and collabs.
NORSE PROJECTS — The quintessential Scandi brand: clean lines and beautiful materials.