Olson and Baker’s Five Favourite Projects from Fredericia
We all need inspiration from time to time. Whatever piece of interior design you are doing, that is still true. What colour schemes work? Where do all the vital bits and pieces go? What furniture fits in with the look? Don’t worry, help is here. There are plenty of places where the professionals have got it right and Fredericia often supplies the furnishings and fittings. So let us present you with Olson and Baker’s five favourite projects from Fredericia.
The Danish maker of chairs, stools, sofas, benches and tables features in some of the most iconic spaces around. Examples range from top-of-the-range work spaces and luxury hospitality to private homes. The list is extensive, and we are spoiled for choice. Still, we managed to narrow it down to five that show what can be achieved.
They all show off the Fredericia brand in notable settings. They also give you some idea of what designers can achieve with imagination and style.
- Project 1: BlueArck, Vancouver, Canada
- Project 2: Villa Hotel, Copenhagen, Denmark
- Project 3: Mas Nou House, Catalonia, Spain
- Project 4: Mjölk House, Toronto, Canada
- Project 5: Mountain House, Managed, France
A private equity company in Vancouver, Canada, is not the place you would expect to find an inspirational example of arty interior design. That, however, is exactly what BlueArck demanded and got when it expanded its office.
They threw away the conventional formal design you might expect in a finance setting. Instead, they opted for a more welcoming and modern feel.
The BlueArck headquarters is housed in the spectacular Marine Building, a 1930s skyscraper and one of the best pieces of art deco architecture anywhere in the world. The inside is as breathtaking as the outside.
It was an enormous challenge to fit in with the style surrounding them in the building. The company’s request for a modern and welcoming look added to the demands. The result, says design company Edit Studios, mixes the elegant comfort of a French château with the sophistication of a modern office.
A soft grey palette, herringbone floors, and soft luxurious furniture such as the Swoon Lounge Petit replace the conventional dark woods and leather chesterfields of the typical private equity office.
A vital element in getting that cross between home comforts and a modern office exactly right is the furniture. That’s where Fredericia comes in. Their Swoon range brings precisely the right level of luxury combined with elegant clean lines to enhance the modern feel.
One of the principal aims had been to create an environment in which everybody would feel they belong. One motive for that move towards a warmer atmosphere is to attract a more equal mix of females into the profession.
The Fredericia furnishings add to the cultured feel. They also fit with the colour scheme that mixes neutral creams and greys with the eye-popping blue that is the company’s signature. The total effect is welcoming, but also brings that feeling of streamlined efficiency that is so important.
It came when the Villa hotel opened its doors in the building originally built as the headquarters for the Central Post & Telegraph Head Office next to the Tivoli Gardens.
With 381 guest bedrooms plus several suites, the grand neo-baroque building is now a space unashamedly devoted to luxury. The development features a rooftop heated pool, a secret garden and a central courtyard that merges ancient Nordic design traditions with Eastern ideas.
The development, the brainchild of Scandinavian hotelier Petter Stordalen, aims at both the leisure and business markets. There is plenty of conference and function space designed to fuse the building’s century of history with modern Danish design. There is also plenty of art. Danish painter Wilhelm Hammershøi, known for his subdued palette, inspired the colour scheme in the public areas. Each bedroom also features an individual charcoal drawing from Bente Stokke, a Norwegian artist.
Tradition meets the 21st century
The project was mainly the creation of the Universal Design Studio in London, who mixed classic Scandinavian styles with a clean, modern feel. That goes for the furniture as well. With Fredericia so close and experts in finding the same overlap of old and new, it was a match made in heaven.
Designs such as the Swoon lounge chair designed by Space Copenhagen fit in perfectly. So does the Haiku sofa from GamFratesi, another Fredericia speciality. With their continuous curves and lush looks, both designs echo the luxurious surroundings.
The hotel is also proud of its record of sustainability. This is another feature echoed by Fredericia with its record of sustainable production. Using nearby suppliers cuts the distances goods have to be transported — just one of many environmental elements in the project.
Project 3: Mas Nou House, Catalonia, Spain
So far, our favourite projects have been commercial ones. The designs involved the conversion of buildings put up in 1930 and 1912, respectively. That limits what can be done. For new-build residential developments, though, all bets are off. Both the architects and the interior designers can go where their imaginations and creative juices took them.
The Mas Nou house in Spain is a perfect example. The team literally got to create the building from the ground up. They also took on the challenge of cutting the building into the side of a hill, but their novel approach works brilliantly. It means all the main rooms have a front-facing view over the stunning Catalonia countryside below them.
The rooms form a zigzag shape so that they all have equally good views from their floor-to-ceiling windows. The ingenious design of the walls keeps the rooms separate from each other, but still open plan. This links all the spaces, while keeping them remarkably independent and private.
Seating in a space-age setting
All that gives the house a space-age feel. Its design features plenty of wood to add that homely touch. It means Fredericia, with its focus on design and traditional materials, is the perfect partner.
The Swoon chair is an obvious choice. Its sweeping lines and minimalist design look perfect in the setting. Given the usual weather in Catalonia, the designers expect the terrace and garden to be used a lot.
That means they also need easy-to-move seating, both to take advantage of the sun or to shift into the shade. The Fredericia Swoon Lounge chair brings the perfect balance of comfort without the bulk of some more traditional designs.
Project 4: Mjölk House, Toronto, Canada
Not all house designs start from scratch. The next one is an example of making a modern living space out of a 19th century structure. Mjölk House has tons of history with one of the last pressed metal facades in Toronto, but that does nothing for 21st century practicality.
The brief was to convert the ground floor into a design store and gallery, but we are more interested in the demand to turn the second and third floors into a modern house. The problem was that the building has a relatively narrow front but goes back a long way. That makes all the rooms long and narrow. Not only is that an awkward shape, but it is tricky to get natural light into the bit in the middle.
On top of that, being in the heart of the city’s commercial district means there are privacy issues. Getting in and out can also be a concern. Mjölk House shows how such a building can get a contemporary look in keeping with the character of the street. Courtyards and light wells provide privacy, natural light and air.
Mjölk is an independent design store and gallery representing classic and current Scandinavian and Japanese designers, artists and artisans. The focus is on functionality, craftsmanship and timeless simplicity, so it was important the house also reflected those values.
The design elements include courtyards, natural light and plenty of wood, mainly white oak. They made the flooring and living room shelving units from wide plank Douglas fir from British Columbia. This all makes Fredericia a natural fit.
They have picked four different chairs – the Spanish Chair, the Hunting Chair, the Wenger J16 Rocking Chair and the J39 Morgensen Chair – as well as the Mogensen 2213 Sofa and the Morgensen Bench. Whenever anybody wants to sit down, Fredericia provides the comfort in a style that sets off the hand-crafted wood of the structure perfectly.
Other times, there can be restraints on a residential project even if it is new-build. One example is the chalet housing project in Manigod, situated in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of eastern France. It’s a popular ski resort, and the local authorities ban anything too experimental in an area known for the traditional look of the mountain homes.
French designers Studio Razavi still came up with a home that is both contemporary and traditional. They narrowed down what elements are essential for comfort and what principles underpinned the styles of houses already there.
The result was an upside down house. The ground floor has to be used for the front entrance and garage, but above that, on the first floor, you find the bedrooms. That leaves the top floor free to be the living area. It is high enough to clear the nearby treeline, which gives it a perfect alpine view.
It also means that as you get higher and higher, so does the level of illumination. With its vast windows, the top floor is bright and roomy. That makes it the perfect place to enjoy the comfort of a Fredericia chair.
Low-down on snow time
With so much natural material in the house’s design and its woodland setting, the obvious choice was the Fredericia Spanish Chair. The stylish combination of solid oak construction with sturdy, high-quality leather means it fits in perfectly. Even better, as the weather changes and as the leather expands with age, owners can tighten the straps to maintain the level of comfort.
The overall flow and appearance of the home remains simple yet cosy, and that fits in perfectly with the Fredericia design principles.
There are some stunning interior designs at the moment. One thing they all have in common is that it doesn’t matter whether the background is an art deco skyscraper in Vancouver or a homely chalet in the French alps, Frederica has the style to fit in.