In converting a historic boat repair shed into a bright and open office space, the trailblazing firm pulls out all the stops.
Having outgrown their previous office, situated in a historic building in the Christianshavn neighbourhood of Copenhagen, and with staff spread out over three floors, 3XN decided to relocate to a 2,000-square-metre space that sits along a canal in the Holmen area. Originally built in the mid-1800s, the structure – made up of five adjacent pitch-roofed buildings – once served as a site to repair and store military boats. It’s now a superbright and open-concept office that allows every single employee a view to the waterfront.
Founder Kim Herforth Nielson designed the new studio with the purpose of fostering communication and collaboration by keeping the entire office open. Interior walls that divided the separate buildings were removed to fully open up the work area. Five enclosed meeting spaces and a model workshop were included, but although they are partitioned off, glass walls surround the rooms so they still feel a part of the overall scheme. Drapes provide privacy when needed. A large communal kitchen was included for group lunches, lectures and other casual gatherings.
A crisp white ceiling made of acoustical plaster helps contain noise in the large space, and all-white furniture and walls come together as a clean backdrop for the company’s scale models and photographs of finished projects to be the defining artistic features. The wood floor, exposed wood beams and industrial fittings provide warmth and an organic touch to the waterside office, and numerous skylights, glass doors and walls of windows draw natural light throughout the entire space.