Copenhagen-based Cobe Architects brings the public in from the cold, opening its café and reception to encourage better engagement with architecture
Cobe Architects is one of Denmark’s success stories. Founded by Dan Stubbergaard in 2006, the firm has grown to over 150 architects, noted most recently for its EUMies Prize-nominated Karen Blixens Plads – parking for 20,000 bikes in a grand 20,000sqm undulating open space for the University of Copenhagen.
But working from its converted warehouse office in the city’s portside Nordhavn district, it’s here that the firm has made its own, naturally much smaller, take on hygge. Pakhus 54 was built in 1953 for Denmark’s East Asiatic Company; founded in 1897, it originally traded timber from Thailand but by the 1950s was established in 50 countries and employed 40,000 people. The building is now Cobe’s offices.
Using timber tables and joinery, with architectural models displayed in bespoke cabinets alongside images of the firm’s projects, this is the first practice in Denmark to open its reception and refectory spaces to the public. Stubbergaard hopes it will encourage people generally to engage better with architecture. ’We see the city as an extension of our own home and with the café we want to invite people into our everyday life in the studio, with everyone welcome to have a look at our work while enjoying a coffee, as we offer a unique hangout place with a warm and welcoming vibe.’
Looking out to the regenerated waterfront, one feels the locals might agree with the sentiment.
Cobe Architects with Jan-Carlos Kucharek