When the founder of Danish homewares brand MENU teams up with Kinfolk’s co-founder and Norm Architects to create something new, you know it’s going to be special. The collaborators, each recognised as leaders in their respective fields, have thoughtfully woven together their unique approaches to contemporary design to establish The Audo.
A passion project of MENU’s former CEO and founder, Bjarne Hansen, The Audo is a hybrid space — home to the MENU headquarters, a concept store, cafe, co-working area and hotel. It has been designed to bring communities together, foster creative collaborations, and encourage the kind of human interaction so often lacking in a technology-driven world.
Found in Nordhavn, Copenhagen’s former industrial port, The Audo has repurposed an old merchant home. The building’s early 1900s neo-baroque facade has been preserved by Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen and the team at Norm Architects, transforming it into a collaborative, creative hub in the Danish capital. Guests have the freedom to stay for a few hours or a few days, utilising the various areas, and are treated to personalised, friendly service from staff. Nathan Williams of Kinfolk, who took on the creative direction of the identity, has created a warm and inviting atmosphere inspired by a collector’s home with rich textures and earthy tones. Exceptional attention to detail is evident in the carefully selected books and accessories that line shelves and fill corners — each piece chosen from brands that share the team’s ethos of quality and craftsmanship.
Upon entering, you come to the lounge area where guests and visitors are encouraged to spend time amongst the velvet armchairs, textured white sofas, Nicholas Shurey-designed sculptures and Benjamin Ewing paintings that adorn the walls. The small cafe, with its long dark marble bar lit by pendant lighting, serves coffee and pastries from the local bakery alongside the day’s papers, with tapas or more substantial meals for lunch and dinner. Look up, and the subtle industrial-style ceiling gives a respectful nod to The Audo’s location. For those visitors who come to work, there’s the co-working space (the outdoor terrace is the perfect spot for a post-work tipple), or the sunlit Audo Library, where samples of the materials used in the interior can be pored over, books can be read, and inspiration can be drawn from the surrounding artworks.
At the top of the house is the Residence, which serves as the hotel and offers ten unique guestrooms. The wooden beams that jut through the walls, the unusual shapes of the rooms and the original windows embrace the building’s history, while the rest of the interior draws upon contemporary Scandinavia. Bespoke furniture, books, works of art and ceramics by the likes of Sofia Tufvasson and Bente Hansen fill the space, and each room is given a warm Nordic landscape- inspired tone with chalky plaster paint from local brand St. Leo. Oak Dinesen flooring, king-size DUX beds and organic bed linen from sustainable brand Aiayu add to the homely feel. Your Audo experience doesn’t need to end once you leave, either. Almost everything you see can be purchased from the Audo Concept — the store on the lower floor that offers the varied yet tightly curated selection of goods enjoyed during your stay.