Notabene Flagship Store

Copenhagen, Denmark
Norm Architects

The new Notabene Flagship Store in Copenhagen, Denmark, is a playful interaction of masculinity and femininity, soft and hard, raw and polished. Designed by Norm Architects, it’s a minimalist interior project that goes beyond a luxury display to juxtapose opposites and highlight each element individually. Simple and elegant, it’s a masterful project.

Notable is a Danish shoe brand that is made by Italian craftsmen, intertwining the two visions of avant-garde design and quality production. Thus, each item is a meticulous work that speaks of the contemporary time, demanding to be placed within a modern space. Taking a cue from the intricacy of each product, Norm Architects creates a space that highly contrasts with Notabene’s identity to form new display facades.

The space is a simple mixture of sand, off-white, and grey hues. At the entrance, a pour of natural light is filtered through a translucent fabric. As the light hits each corner of the store, the raw edges of exposed concrete show their toughness—masculinity that engulfs the whole environment. The rough texture is implemented with the stone floor and clay plinths scattered throughout. At some moments, an introduction of aluminium in shelving units creates a brilliant canvas for product display. The intersection of greys makes assorted depths to the space, giving an undulating illusion to the wall surfaces.

Sharing the same formal language yet having a softer tone, oakwood emerges within like breaks to the cold appearance. Each of their presence brings femininity, be it thick slats of the staircase’s balustrade, a simple asymmetrical landing, a thin cover for the cabinet, or the circular top of the table. The harmonious use of materials gracefully balances the visual effects to accent essential instances, like where a single shoe model is shown. This singularity contrasts the repetitive display motif on the ground floor.

There, a shoeshine bar speaks of the maintenance care being put into a commercial space. Further away is a relaxing lounge area with armchairs like soft sculptures. The use of bouclé fabric cleverly mixes toughness and lightness. The armchairs then become a site-specific installation, much aligning with the vision of Norm to have special furniture for this special space.

Walking through the Notabene Flagship Store, one feels as if he or she is at a museum where each item is an artwork. The shoes are there to be awed, spectated, and viewed carefully. Norm had once again altered the way one views building functions. A space no longer needs to pertain to one single use, but it can extend beyond to create a complete and wholesome experience.

In the shop