The fact that two cabinetmakers founded the Danish design brand Garde Hvalsøe is evident in every detail of the brand’s production. Starting with a single kitchen in the early 1990s, the brand has grown into a universe of meticulously crafted kitchens, cabinets, wardrobes and custom interiors, all characterised by the clean lines and high-quality, mostly natural materials typical of the Danish craft and design tradition.
To showcase its products at their best, the brand recently opened a new showroom in a former car factory in the central Copenhagen district of København, using the expertise of Bunn Studio, a Copenhagen-based architecture firm known for its approach of fusing traditional techniques with contemporary materials to encourage people to rethink everyday objects. The architects had already worked with the brand on its more formal showroom in Aarhus, which was designed to resemble a New York apartment. Their brief for the new showroom was to transform the space into a “welcoming showroom with an intentional feel” to display the breadth of Garde Hvalsøe’s product range in a flexible layout.
Marcus Hannibal of Bunn Studio notes how they wanted to “push the context of the Garde Hvalsøe kitchen by elevating the inspiration behind each style, showcasing the vast array of design options selected by their international clientele”. In designing the space, it was important to the architects to highlight the customisation possibilities and attention to detail that characterise Garde Hvalsøe. As a result, the showroom invites visitors to explore and experience materials, textures and colours in a wide range of designs, from handcrafted kitchens and pantries to walk-in wardrobes, including an exclusive wine display and other bespoke storage solutions.
The designers chose to incorporate some of the brand’s original furniture into the showroom to ensure brand continuity and minimise waste and unnecessary production. For example, they reclaimed Studio David Thulstrup’s smoked oak wall panelling from an earlier design and incorporated several elements from the Aarhus showroom.
In a new development always in pursuit of sustainability and a nod to the brand’s Scandinavian roots, Garde Hvalsøe has introduced beech wood as a material choice for the first time. Often overlooked but highly durable, beech wood is readily available in Denmark. Its extra hard surface makes it resistant to chipping and gouging, making it ideal for durable furniture in high-traffic areas such as kitchens.