How an industrial crane became an example for modern interior design
The transformation of the old into something totally new is ever-present here in Nordhavn. Under the motto 'The Sustainable City of the Future', this former industrial area in Denmark's capital city of Copenhagen is currently being redesigned into a completely sustainable neighbourhood. Owner Klaus Kastbjerg and the Danish architecture firm 'Arcgency' took this transformation as their role model and converted a former coal crane at the edge of the district into a luxurious design hotel for two. Aboard 'The Krane', visitors will also find designs by Duravit: Placed alongside one another, there are actually two Cape Cod bathtubs that invite people to unwind together - with a premium view that extends over Copenhagen’s port and out to sea.
The owner of 'The Krane', Klaus Kastbjerg, is responsible for numerous projects along Copenhagen’s new waterfront. He was immediately delighted by the tremendous view of the water that presented itself from the 50-metre-high crane. He undertook to turn this old industrial machinery into something contemporary with a soul. With this premise in mind, the architects at Arcgency created a unique design hotel spanning three floors. Guests enter the ground floor via the drawbridge of the crane, which extends like a staircase to the waterfront. A meeting room is housed on the first floor, and immediately above it is the spa area with the iconic Cape Cod bathtubs by Duravit and Philippe Starck. The Spa is panelled floor to ceiling in grey stone, and, thanks to the generous glazing, a bath in the Cape Cod affords a direct view of the sea. Hotel guests sleep on the third floor. There is even more Duravit design to be found in the bathrooms: Me by Starck toilets and Architec washbasins provide guests with comfort. Each area of 'The Krane' can be rented separately.
Drawing on its past as a coal crane, the interior is particularly dominated by darker tones. The rooms are decorated entirely in elegant black and dark grey. But thanks to the generously proportioned windows, the effect is not at all constricting, but calming. Authentic materials, such as leather, wood, stone and steel, complete the furnishings. But everything in moderation, as the architects attach great emphasis to minimalism. "Black plays a pivotal role in muting and minimising visual distractions so people feel almost enveloped in the interior”, as Arcgency lead architect Mads Møller points out. The light plays a decisive role, as light along the Danish coast is very soft, with around 15 hours of daylight in the summer months.
"There are hundreds of different shades of black. In 'The Krane', very subtle nuances emerge, depending on the time of day", Møller observes. That is why the architects worked to improve the interior areas of the crane until the best use of daylight was found. Thus was born an archaic retreat in the harbour, a space that leaves a lasting impression.