Scandi style: a Copenhagen office is a timber-clad triumph

office interior
Danish firm PLH Architects is behind the new offices for the Copenhagen-based oil and gas company Maersk Oil.
(Image credit: Tomas Bertelsen)

For PLH Architects, creating a truly sustainable design is at the top of the priority list, and the firm’s latest completion, the headquarters for Danish oil and gas company Maersk Oil, demonstrates just how it’s done.

Conceived as a single volume featuring a striking curved corner on Copenhagen’s Amerika Square, an area of the Danish capital that has been bustling with construction with some 150,000 sq m of new commercial and residential development, the office building was designed as an inherently sustainable space. Here, ‘users and organisations thrive’, explain the architects. Planned to encourage collaboration across the company’s diverse businesses, the space is aimed at improving the employees’ work life, while being flexible and functional.

This does not mean any compromise in terms of aesthetics. Rocking a warm, Scandinavian look of sophisticated simplicity, the offices are clad in light coloured timber – a seamless skin of ash acoustic battens that wrap the interiors unifying a coherent whole. This, and its white plaster finishes and large openings (including long strip windows and a glass-topped atrium at its heart), make for an impressively light interior that feels both stylish and serene.

Cafes, informal lounges, benches and meeting rooms are strategically placed throughout the building to support interaction and socialising among employees. The central atrium is dotted with cognac leather seating and palm trees, which are arranged across a cool granite floor, ready to welcome visitors. These convivial hubs are juxtaposed by calm zoned desk areas across all floors.

Local architecture firm PLH are experienced in creating innovative workspaces; its Aller Building, for the Aller Media company, has been awarded by the City of Copenhagen for its considerate and eye-catching design. The new Maersk Oil’s headquarters can only follow suit.

office space

The architects wanted to create a space that improves the employees’ quality of life and encourages collaboration.

(Image credit: Tomas Bertelsen)

Maersk office building

Located on the city’s Amerika Square, on the centre’s northern edge, the building features a distinctive curved corner.

(Image credit: Rozbeh Rzavari)

office seating area

Its warm, Scandinavian style interior is clad in ash wood. 

(Image credit: Tomas Bertelsen)

A central atrium is lit from above and welcomes visitors

A central atrium is lit from above and welcomes visitors.

(Image credit: Tomas Bertelsen)

office cafe dining area

Busy cafes, lounges and informal meeting areas dot the building...

(Image credit: Tomas Bertelsen)

office area with red feature wall

...balanced by calm desk areas across different floors.

(Image credit: Tomas Bertelsen)

kitchen area

Danish architects PLH are experts in creating inspiring workplaces.

(Image credit: Tomas Bertelsen)

INFORMATION

For more information, visit the PLH Architects website (opens in new tab)

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture Editor at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018) and Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020).