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Danish Design Spots You Must Visit in Copenhagen


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It’s the home of hygge (which loosely translates to ‘cosiness’) and supposedly one of the happiest cities in the world, but Copenhagen is also the place to see great design when you’re in Denmark. Characterised by its clean, minimalist lines and functionality, Danish design made headway in the 1950s – particularly in furniture production and architecture. Even if you’re not aware of it, you’ve seen examples of Danish design before. In 1960, viewers of the first televised presential debate (between Kennedy and Nixon) were looking at Hans J Wegner’s Danish chairs. Then there’s the Egg chair – oh and the Sydney Opera House (which was designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon). Today, brands are consistently taking inspiration from this iconic design period, and there are plenty of places to see Danish design – both old and new – if you’re staying with us in Copenhagen.

Designmuseum Denmark
Bredgade 68, 1260 København, Denmark​
Located just 12 minutes on foot from Generator Copenhagen, The Danish Design Museum boasts a huge collection of decorative arts, crafts and industrial design pieces. Alongside its temporary exhibitions, the museum presents three permanent collections that are especially relevant: Archive for Danish Design, Objects Collection and The poster Collection. Each of these explores the historical and contemporary influence that Denmark has had on the design world. And if you love a Danish chair, well, you’ll be in your element. With an emphasis on furniture design from 1920-1970, it’s a chance to see pieces by influential designers like Hans J Wegner, Finn Juhl and Grete Jalk.

Radisson Royal Hotel
Hammerichsgade 1, 1611 København, Denmark
Nope, we’re not trying to palm you off here; we just couldn’t talk about Danish design without mentioning ‘the world’s first design hotel’ – Arne Jacobsen’s modernist masterpiece. The architect tapped into the mid-century glamour of transatlantic air travel; he wanted to bring a taste of 50s Manhattan to Europe. And those iconic Egg chairs that we mentioned earlier? Jacobsen created them – as well as his ‘Swan’ and ‘Pot’ chairs – especially for the hotel. Back then, it was called the SAS Royal Hotel, but the Radisson Royal (as it’s now known), has been so sensitively refurbished that the place has become a pilgrimage for fans of Danish design across the globe. The lobby, bar and restaurant all pay homage to Jacobsen, so if you’re looking for an Instagrammable spot steeped in history, pop yourself in an Egg chair and snap away.

Normann Copenhagen
Niels Hemmingsens Gade 12, 1153 København K, Denmark
Normann Copenhagen is a great example of how Danish Design continues to inspire. Established in 1999, the brand’s growing collection of furniture, lighting, textiles and home accessories have the hallmark of mid-century design; bringing functionality, minimalism and innovation to the fore. Located in a 1,700 m2 old cinema, their award-winning showroom is a shopping experience like no other. It’s intended to ‘give visitors the feeling that they’re moving around in an art installation,’ and the space cleverly uses a range of materials, including steel, glass and terrazzo, to create a raw and industrial aesthetic. Head downstairs though, and there’s a room that’s painted entirely pink; at one time, footstools were secured to the ceiling here (like we said, this isn’t your average shop).

Frederiksborggade 22, 1360 København, Denmark
Since it first opened in 2002, Stilleben has become a must-visit destination for fans of contemporary Danish design. It’s so popular, in fact, that there are now two Stilleben shops in Copenhagen; you’ll find their second offering at Frederiksborggade 22. Founded by artists Ditte Reckweg and Jelena Schou Nordentoft, the store specialises in handmade ceramics, textiles, furniture, jewellery, prints and original artworks from around the globe. Everything in the shop has been handpicked by the duo at its helm, so it’s a great place to discover up and coming designers too. If you’re looking for a true Scandi shopping experience whilst you’re in Copenhagen, you’ll get it here.

Finn Juhl's House
Kratvænget 15, 2920 Charlottenlund, Denmark
In Charlottenlund, a suburban area located just north of the city, you’ll find the home of mid-century architect and furniture designer Finn Juhl. Travel from Nørreport to Ordrup station by train (it takes just 20 minutes); you can then walk or grab a taxi from there to the house. Juhl built the house in 1942, and it stands as the perfect example of his architectural style. Flooded with natural light, it’s an early example of open-plan living, and you can see views of the surrounding garden from every room. The house and its interiors have been beautifully preserved, and much of the furniture that’s still in it was designed by Juhl himself.

In the same area there’s the Ordrupgaard Art Museum, which houses a vast collection of French and Danish Impressionist artworks, as well as art from the 19th century Danish Golden Age. Though you won’t find an Egg chair or Poul Henningsen lamp here, it’s still worth a visit if you want an understanding of Denmark’s artistic heritage.

Arne Jacobsen’s Charlottenlund
Gotfred Rodes Vej 2, 2920 Charlottenlund, Denmark​
Finn Juhl isn’t the only Danish designer to make his mark on Charlottenlund; just 14 minutes north of his home lays Bellevue Beach. This is where Arne Jacobsen enriched the coastline with his architectural design in the 1930s. Make a visit to the Bellavista housing estate, the Bellevue Theatre and of course, the beach itself – you’ll see Jacobsen’s iconic blue and white striped lifeguard tower in all its glory.

As you can see, design permeates every corner of the Danish capital. Style is synonymous with the place, and no matter where you go, you’re likely to find examples of classic Danish design there. But to really experience it – and to discover its global significance – you’ve got to venture to at least one or two of these Danish design spots.