Dezeen Magazine

POPL burger restaurant by Spacon & X and e15 for Noma

Spacon & X creates casual diner for Noma's burger spinoff POPL

Prolific Copenhagen restaurant Noma has opened a burger joint featuring an interior filled with natural materials and plants designed by Spacon & X.

Born out of a summer pop-up, POPL is a diner in Copenhagen's pretty Christianshavn neighbourhood, serving a simple menu of burgers, fries and light bites.

POPL is designed by Danish studio Spacon & X, the Emerging Interior Designer of the Year from the inaugural Dezeen Awards in 2018.

Red and yellow tones in POPL burger restaurant by Spacon & X and e15 for Noma
POPL is a burger joint in Christianshavn, Copenhagen

The interior design takes cues from Izakaya, informal drinking venues that can be found in Japan. The aim was to create a raw simplicity but to also create a feeling of warmth and comfort.

The designers did this with the use of warm colours and materials, which contrast the starkness of the building's concrete structure. They also added a wooden "plant bridge" above the tables, so that greenery is visible everywhere.

Plant bridge in POPL burger restaurant by Spacon & X and e15 for Noma
A plant bridge is suspended above the tables

"We found it a natural decision that the design concept follows Noma's approach to the burger: simple, welcoming, and with the best quality ingredients," explained Malene Hvidt, architect and partner at Spacon & X.

"The design is welcoming to the extent that guests are not afraid to use the space as a hangout," she told Dezeen. "The surface materials and careful detailing communicate this through their expressive robustness and honesty."

Natural materials in POPL burger restaurant by Spacon & X and e15 for Noma
Natural materials feature throughout the interior

The design centres around the use of natural materials. Acoustic ceiling panels are lined with dried and compressed meadow flowers, which offer a delicate fragrance, while paper lights and artworks are dotted around.

All of the furniture is made from brown core ash wood. These pieces were all designed bespoke for POPL through a collaboration with furniture brand e15, to help give the restaurant its own identity.

Wooden furniture in POPL burger restaurant by Spacon & X and e15 for Noma
Spacon & X worked with e15 to create bespoke furniture

Bespoke tables, chairs, stools, benches and coat hangers are all characterised by simple forms that celebrate the construction joints, fusing Nordic, Japanese and American furniture-making traditions.

Tables are topped with Richlite, a composite material made from recycled paper and bio-resin. Meanwhile, benches are upholstered in a distinctive yellow leather, which is complemented a tactile red artwork that covers the rear wall.

Wooden bar stools in POPL burger restaurant by Spacon & X and e15 for Noma
Warm tones help to create a cosy atmosphere

"The focus of this project is on the use of natural materials and craftsmanship," said e15 founder Philipp Mainzer. "This is very much in line with the approach to our work at e15."

"Every surface tells a story," added Hvidt, "like the compressed flower acoustic board solutions, which from a distance are a dappled colour but up-close reveal their texture and scent. Or the red artwork, celebrating the handcraft skill of applying tile mortar."

Yellow leather seats in POPL burger restaurant by Spacon & X and e15 for Noma
Benches are upholstered in yellow leather

This is the first time that Spacon & X and e15 have collaborated with Noma, which is regularly named as one of the best restaurants in the world. For Noma's main venue, it worked with architects BIG, interior designer David Thulstrup and furniture brand Brdr Krüger.

By allowing a new creative team to put their stamp on the Noma aesthetic, POPL hopes to reach a wider audience.

Window seats in POPL burger restaurant by Spacon & X and e15 for Noma
The design takes its cues from Japan's Izakaya drinking venues

Hvidt hopes visitors will liken the experience to the casual atmosphere of an American diner, even though the space looks very different.

"We have definitely brought a new dialect to the Noma language," she added.

"The nuanced American diner feel is created through elements such as the heavy diner booth typology, but the association is then offset through the care put into the material sourcing, detailing and craftsmanship. The striking yet natural colours again play with the American diner tradition in a Scandinavian context."

Photography is by Bjørn Bertheussen.