Butterfly effect: the making of Glenn Sestig Architects, Dinesen and Ocular ApS’ ’Barony’ Bar

Created for Hotel Wallpaper*, 2016’s thoroughly hospitable edition of Handmade, Glenn Sestig, Dinesen and Ocular ApS teamed up to create the playful ’Barony’ bar
Created for Hotel Wallpaper*, 2016’s thoroughly hospitable edition of Handmade, Glenn Sestig, Dinesen and Ocular ApS teamed up to create the playful ’Barony’ bar, pictured.
(Image credit: Carl Kleiner)

What do an Asian species of butterfly, a title of honour and a bar have in common? More than you might think, according to Glenn Sestig. And the playful ‘Barony’ bar, made out of Dinesen timber, vibrantly tinted using organic linseed oils, is his case-in-point.

We asked the Belgian architect to collaborate with Danish flooring company Dinesen and skilled carpenters Ocular to design one of our exhibition centrepieces; a striking but service friendly bar. His response was to produce something fun and eye-catching that also feels substantial and regal; beautiful but functional; sturdy but with the appearance of lightness.

‘The bar is a composition of vertical and horizontal volumes,’ says Sestig. The double-column effect created by the rear tall cabinets and the powerful symmetry make for a particularly impactful design. ‘It is inspired by Brutalist architecture, but still elegant. The Blue Baron butterfly offered inspiration. It’s beautiful to look at, but also still needs to fly. When opening its wings, it becomes something completely different.’

The butterfly concept guided the design’s colourway, which uses hues by Danish pigment manufacturer Linolie, including Violet and Dusty Black. Violet was also chosen because it traditionally represents nobility, another nod to the project’s name. Colour is not something that Dinesen has been particularly known for until now. The Danish brand’s signature product is the long, wide, pale planks that line some of the world’s finest floors, and this is not about to change. But Dinesen has been quietly working on treating its wood with linseed oils so it can now add colour to the mix.

‘Linseed oil is a natural product, it is environmentally friendly and has great durability,’ says Thomas Dinesen, the firm’s fourth generation CEO. ‘Fundamentally, it makes sense to use it on a Dinesen plank that carries the same natural values.’ This can now be applied to any Dinesen wood, adding a twist to the classic and offering one more option to the company roaster.

Ocular masterfully assembled the piece. Set up in Denmark in 2006 by Martin Meyer Nielsen, with Lars Klitgaard Hansen joining in 2012, the Copenhagen-based firm is dedicated to timber craftsmanship and high quality wood manufacturing methods. The team used Dinesen’s Douglas Classic for the body of ‘The Barony’, and Festool’s Domino connectors for corner solutions, and for assembling and disassembling it when it needed to move. Extra details that add lightness and sophistication include a mirror by Forserum Safety Glass AB and hinges by Simonswerk.

Time was a key challenge, as was translating floorboards into bespoke joinery. Dinesen’s consistent top quality, along with excellent communication across the team provided the solution to both. ‘We had a really positive and mutually beneficial dialogue with Glenn Sestig,’ recalls Nielsen. ‘So interpreting the design into buildable elements was not that difficult.’

His collaborators agree. Says Dinesen, ‘The bar is a very fine example of how the joined forces of a visionary architect like Glenn Sestig, skilled craftsmen from Ocular, dedicated colour experts from Linolie, and an understanding of wood inherited through generations of the Dinesen family, result in a remarkable creative outcome, displayed in the most inspiring and innovative setting at Wallpaper* Handmade’.

As originally featured in the August 2016 Issue of Wallpaper* (W*209)

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(Image credit: press)

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Martin Meyer Nielsen with senior joiner Angus Chisholm, in the Ocular workshop in Copenhagen, planing Dinesen timber for the ’Barony’ bar. Photography: Richard Gaston

The assembled bar, made using timber that has been tinted using linseed oil

The assembled bar, made using timber that has been tinted using linseed oil.

(Image credit: Carl Kleiner)


For more information, visit the Glenn Sestig Architects website, the Dinesen website, and the Ocular website

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director 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), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).