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

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

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.