In the pink at Normann Copenhagen

Normann Copenhagen's dramatic new Danish design showroom is soooo pretty in pink

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

2017's colour trend competition is already hotting up, with Pantone plumping for Greenery as their Color of the Year, and DesignFizz and other interiors experts predicting moody blues will reign. Danish design brand Normann Copenhagen shows there is a third way, picking wall-to-wall pink for their new Copenhagen showroom Gallery space. Following on from fashion trends, it's proof that pale, barely there nudes, beautiful blush hues, romantic rose, feisty fuchsia and hot pink can command attention, from monochrome-styled spaces to eye-catching furniture and accessories. 

ABOVE: Pink power rules in Normann Copenhagen's new Gallery space, below their flagship showroom in the Danish capital, taking over walls, floors and even the ceiling
ABOVE RIGHT: The brand's gorgeous 'Geo' storage jars by Nicholai Wiig Hansen include Blush hues
BELOW: Plush velvety pink-carpeted stairs lead down to the subterranean Gallery

Enter the recently revamped flagship showroom at Osterbrogade 70 and the ground-floor, set in an old cinema, is a vision of glamorous modernity, with a raw, industrial feel.  Oyster-grey walls meet a neutral palette of epoxy, brushed steel, terrazzo, reflective glass and glossy acrylic, with areas divided into a Hall, Stage and Ballroom. So far, so appealingly normal. In a twist worthy of Alice in Wonderland, though, a metal shaft leads from the middle of the showroom down into the lower Gallery space, and that's where the colour comes in. Cue 'pure pink pandemonium'.

ABOVE: A row of steel 'Cap' table lamps in Blush, by German duo KaschKasch, perch on pink plinths in the Gallery; Curated fashion items are displayed in a clear box; Tone-on-tone styling brings a blush to the cheeks of the 'Swell' armchair by Jonas Wagell

Plush pink carpet covers the stairs descending to the subterranean zone. A nude 'Swell' sofa stands in pride of place, surrounded by a pink harem of chairs and lights, perched on pink podiums and flanked by rosy columns. The effect is intended to be both beguilingly feminine and borderline disturbing, channeling the look and feel of a fleshy organism or bodily innards. A site-specific installation by Danish artist Nina Holmgren, entitled 'Fresh fools in a pool of pink salty tears' and including aquatic sounds and story fragments, adds more pink attitude, along with her curated playlists.

'We wanted to give visitors the feeling they're moving around in an art installation,' says Danish designer Hans Hornemann, who developed the concept of the new showroom alongside brand manager Britt Bonnesen. 'We've played with the contrast between warm and cold in a contemporary interior environment.' The Gallery aims to offer an experimental, artistic universe, that will host changing, transformative concepts.

ABOVE: Pink shopping opportunities at Normann Copenhagen include the 'Flip' mirror in Blush, extra large 'Nyhavn' vase in Plum, 'Nic Nac Organiser 2' container in Light Pink, 'Geo' vacuum jug in White, and small 'Circus' pouf in Blush velour
BELOW: Stairway from the pink Gallery back up to the neutral-hued main showroom, including pink floors and ceiling

Normann Copenhagen's showroom makeover was unveiled in late 2016, and will continue to evolve, with new looks coming to the Gallery. If you're passionate about on-trend pink you can shop the look, with a bunch of pink-hued products available from the creative Danish brand, including kitchen kit, desk storage, mirrors and poufs. And if wall-to-wall pink feels like overkill in your home, aim for a painted feature wall and accent details instead. 'With the right nuances and styling, pink can be very exclusive, classic and sophisticated,' says Bonnesen. 
normann-copenhagen.com

Normann Copenhagen's showroom is at Osterbrogade 70, Copenhagen, Denmark or shop the range online

Serpentine Pavilion 2016

London's 2016 Serpentine Pavilion unzipped! A triumph of materials and form, Bjarke Ingels' intriguing design is accompanied by four startling Summer Houses

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

It wouldn't be summer in London without the annual unveiling of the Serpentine Pavilion, bringing cutting-edge modern architecture to Kensington Gardens beside the Serpentine Gallery. 2016's Serpentine Architecture Programme sees Denmark's Bjarke Ingels take centre stage with a jaw-dropping pavilion inspired by an 'unzipped wall'. Whereas 2015's pavilion by Spain's SelgasCano was all about psychedelic colour, Ingels' creation explores poetic material form.

Design fans can also explore four accompanying Summer Houses by international talents – Asif Khan, Kunlé Adeyemi, Barkow Leibinger and Yona Friedman – as part of an expanded offering for the 16th edition, on show until 9 October 2016. All riff on Queen Caroline's Temple, a classical 1734 summer house by William Kent a skip from the gallery. What's more, each temporary structure showcases an architect who has never built in the UK before.

ABOVE: Serpentine Pavilion 2016 by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)
ABOVE RIGHT: Danish architect Bjarke Ingels in front of his pavilion
BELOW: An 'unzipped wall', Ingels' pavilion is formed from stacked, sculptural fibreglass frames with an inviting chamber within 

SERPENTINE PAVILION
Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)

Transforming a straight line into a three-dimensional space, Copenhagen/New York-based Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)'s Serpentine Pavilion takes its cue from an 'unzipped wall'. The cavity within becomes a dramatic space for a daytime cafe, events and the Park Nights cultural programme, while the elegant spire above acts as a cathedral-like beacon. It's simultaneously cubic and curvy, chunky and translucent, geometric and ethereal, or as Ingels puts it: 'A structure that is freeform yet rigorous, modular yet sculptural, both transparent and opaque, both solid box and blob.'

Borrowing its structure from a basic brick wall, it is formed from fibreglass frames rather than clay bricks or stone blocks, with the wall then pulled apart to reveal the cave-like interior. 'This unzipping of the wall turns the line into a surface, transforming the wall into a space,' says Ingels. The effect is part valley, part hillside, setting up seductive repetitions and undulations via waves of component blocks, harnessing graphic light and shade. Inspiring recent projects by BIG include 2 World Trade Center in New York and the Danish National Maritime Museum.
 

SERPENTINE SUMMER HOUSES

Asif Khan
Up-and-coming London architect Asif Khan discovered that the original Queen Caroline's Temple was positioned to catch the sunlight from the nearby Serpentine Lake, as well as the rising sun on the queen's birthday, and aims to recapture that combination in his delicate Serpentine Summer House. A sinuous circle of white timber staves, its circumference has been unpeeled, allowing changing views of the temple. A polished mirrored platform and roof inside amplify the experience. Khan's past work includes the colourful Coca-Cola Beatbox Pavilion at the London Olympics and Littlehampton's contemporary West Beach Cafe.


Kunlé Adeyemi
Kunlé Adeyemi (head of Amsterdam/Lagos practice NLÉ) offers an inverse, rotated replica of Queen Caroline's Temple for his Serpentine Summer House, turning its robust form into a reimagined sculptural installation. Shelter and relaxation is still the name of the game, with rough, prefabricated sandstone building blocks forming a room, doorway and window for visitors to interact with the space and each other. While the sandstone is similar to the temple's materials, the interior surfaces are softer. Adeyemi's combination of carved-out void, homely interior and fragmented furniture blocks offers a deconstructed, playful temple for the 21st century. If you love it check out his prototype Makoko Floating School designed for a Lagos lagoon.


Barkow Leibinger
Barkow Leibinger (Berlin/New York) took inspiration from another, extinct 18th-century pavilion by William Kent, on a man-made hill near the gallery, which rotated and offered 360-degree views of the park. At some point it disappeared, until this 2016 Summer House in-the-round paid homage to the original. Open to its surroundings, it looks like a ribbon, thanks to its undulating structural band of plywood on a steel frame. Loopy but lovely, it's somewhere to see and be seen.


Yona Friedman
A squiggly modular design that can be arranged in different formations, Parisian veteran Yona Friedman's Summer House picks up on his pioneering late 1950s project La Ville Spatiale (Spatial City). A space-chain structure, representing a fragment of a larger grid, it explores mobile architecture using elevated space to save on land footprint (vital for growing cities). It also encourages customisable spaces, allowing residents to define their own modular homes – a future-forward vision by this 93-year-old visionary.

BELOW: The original, classical Queen Caroline's Temple by William Kent, inspiration for all four summer houses

www.serpentinegalleries.org
The Serpentine Pavilion is open daily (free entry), 10am-6pm, until 9 October 2016 at the Serpentine Gallery, Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, London W2 (closed 6 July until 1pm 7 July). Event programme Park Nights runs until 23 September 2016. 

Photos by Iwan Baan; Queen Caroline's Temple photo by Garry Knight