The Danish restaurant Genbo creates engagingly eclectic ambience with the Daumiller armchair
Adam Aaman is one of the most exciting restaurateurs on the Copenhagen gastronomic scene. The latest addition to his mini-empire is the bakery, takeaway, restaurant, and bar Aamann’s Genbo in Carlsberg Byen. To bring the space together, Adam and his design team turned to an iconic piece of Danish design: Rainer Daumiller’s classic 1970s pine armchair.
BALANCED BLEND OF OLD AND NEW
Created by Aamann’s long-standing interiors collaborator, Copenhagen design studio All That Matters, the new space takes inspiration from the location’s mix of old and new architecture, and the colors and materials of the old Carlsberg brewery site – raw steel, exposed brick, and accents of red and green.
The overall style is an eclectic but balanced blend of old and new – industrial tradition and playful innovation – and the furniture selection has a key part to play.
WARM, INVITING, AND COMFORTABLE ATMOSPHERE
Every restaurant in Aamann’s family of Copenhagen dining venues is unique in both menu and design, though they are all linked by a common thread: honest, high-quality materials; a warm, inviting, and comfortable atmosphere; and a distinctly Danish identity.
“The Daumiller Armchair is a perfect example of what Danish design can be, marking a near-forgotten era of pine furniture. The woodwork is, simply put, amazing, and the bulky and almost brutalist design is a statement in itself. It’s a chair that calls for you to try it out. We find it the perfect match to Genbo’s industrial and colorful interior.”
– Anders Busk Faarborg, Design Director, All That Matters
CRAFTED FOR COMFORT
Choosing to furnish the space with recycled vintage pine pieces rather than buying new, the Aamann’s team spent a year scouring auction houses, flea markets, and other retro outlets specifically in search of Daumiller Armchairs.
Crafted for comfort, and expressively simple in form, Daumiller’s distinctive chairs have an honest and robust materiality, while being perfectly sculpted to match the shape of the body, ensuring a comfortable sitting experience even without upholstery.
"As with the food, the thorough and well-considered choice of design materials is important to us. You can intuitively feel the quality of solid wood – a completely unconscious understanding of quality when your hand slides over the wooden surface. Rainer Daumiller’s chairs are made to last – and they look even better than when they were produced, as the patina gives even more personality and depth to the design."
– Adam Aamann, chef and owner
A WELCOMING EMBRACE
Designing an all-day venue such as Genbo poses a particular challenge, as the atmosphere changes from morning to evening – a low-lit cocktail-hour ambience just doesn’t work at breakfast time. For All That Matters, the task was to develop a space that was warm and inviting at every time of day, for every kind of clientele, and the studio realized that the material choices would be integral to this.
THE CENTERPIECE OF THE DESIGN
Taking the quintessentially Danish concept of ‘hygge’ – the almost ineffable quality of coziness and conviviality – as their watchword, All That Matters hit upon the Daumiller chair as the linchpin of the design scheme.
The studio knew that a chair that so clearly embodied the nation’s design and craft tradition would be the ideal addition to Genbo. Plus, the Daumiller Armchair is constructed purely from pine, a rapid-growing wood, making it a more sustainable choice than many other materials.
UNITY THROUGH CONTRASTS
On the restaurant floor, Daumiller’s chairs are teamed with chunky pine tables, an industrial-led material palette of raw steel and clean concrete, red color accents, and plenty of greenery.
The warmth of the raw pine surfaces contrasts with the coolness of the concrete and helps create an atmosphere of coziness that counteracts the open, industrial quality of the space.
Solid in construction, simple in form, and sculptural in expression, the Daumiller Armchair’s straightforward materiality and robust composition pay tribute to Rainer Daumiller’s lifelong affinity with natural materials and forms.
THE DESIGNER: RAINER DAUMILLER
Daumiller has always been drawn to sustainability and simplicity, in both his life and his work. The robust, sculptural forms of his designs pay testament to a lifelong love of the natural world, and an intuitive material understanding – the ability to take what’s there, respond to its inherent properties, and create something special, whether he is foraging for food or designing a piece of furniture.