Danish restaurant Noma commissioned Polyform Architects to create a landscape based on Nordic terroir to give pilgrims to the world's best restaurant a taste of what's inside, without disturbing diners (+ slideshow).
Recently named 'the world’s best restaurant' for the fourth time in a list compiled by 900 international experts for Restaurant magazine, Copenhagen's Noma attracts diners from all over the world. It features an interior by Space Copenhagen, as well as an experimental food laboratory by 3XN.
With a wait of up to two months for a table, the restaurant also attracts foodies without reservations, keen to see the location, get their photo taken outside, and peer through windows to get a glimpse of the innovative dishes being served inside. Guests have been finding the voyeurs distracting, so Noma contacted Polyform Architects for a design solution.
"Head chef René Redzepi was not interested in putting up a red rope in front of the restaurant," said Polyform partner Thomas Kock. "He didn't want to exclude the curious minds but rather create a buffer zone around the restaurant, which gave visitors the experience of Noma and in this way included them."
Like the ingredients for the new-Nordic cuisine the restaurant specialises in, the landscape design is based on indigenous plants and common features from Norway's natural environment.
"We wanted a landscape that showcased the Nordic region's rugged beauty and told the story of the terroir that has shaped and inspired the new Nordic," Kock told Dezeen. "With that in mind, we brought in typical robust plants from the coasts of the countries and lava stones from Iceland where these plants also grow naturally,"
The restaurant wanted the new intervention to look like it had been there for a long time, so the designers used fully-grown plants including hare's tail cottongrass, bluebells, mountain avens, primula nutans, platt's black and sea thrift.
Beehives in the garden will produce honey for the Noma kitchen with a unique taste, thanks to a bespoke combination of plants that bees feed on.
Guests with reservations can now enjoy a disturbance-free gastronomic experience inside, while guests without reservations still get a taste of Noma outside. "We expect the visitors to have a taste of the new Nordic - even though they might not have a reservation to taste the new Nordic gastronomy inside Noma," said Kock.
Polyform was established in 2006 by Royal Academy of Fine Arts Copenhagen graduates Jonas Song Berg and Thomas Kock.
Photography is by Wichmann+Bendtsen.