Honouring a collaborative spirit according to the philosophy of Scandinavian brand MENU, The Audo—which opened last May—is an inspiring hybrid space. Away from the touristic circuit, it is a worthwhile destination.
Located in the old harbour district of Nordhavn, The Audo is nestled in a neo-baroque building from 1918, whose façade was preserved by Norm Architects.
The team at MENU—former MENU CEO and current manager of The Audo Bjarne Hansen, in particular— and all the brands involved launched this project with the objective of gathering creative minds to give life to a space that is not only MENU’s headquarters and showroom, but also a meeting place. “It is a hub for powerful ideas, beautiful design and inspiration”, says MENU Chief Design and Brand Officer Joachim Kornbek Hansen. “Through openness, knowledge-sharing and collaboration, MENU takes a new approach to running a design business. Our move to The Audo highlights the multidisciplinary, unifying nature of design, while serving as a showcase and testing ground for our new concepts.”
Designed in collaboration with Norm Architects and under the creative direction of Nathan Williams (cofounder of Kinfolk magazine), The Audo seems to be a collector’s house, where furniture, lighting and accessories by MENU can be experienced in an authentic and natural way, as they dialogue with pieces from other renowned brands including Aiayu, August Sandgren, Dedar, Dinesen, Dux, Geberit and Kronos Ceramiche.
Original and new elements, as well as references to industrial architecture and pure lines make up the space. Every object or accessory can be purchased in the concept store situated on the ground floor. The coffee shop, bistro-style restaurant and charming outdoor patio—located on the same level—were created to encourage interaction. On the first floor, the library comprises a collection of natural materials, textiles and leathers, wood and stone samples, architectural details, visual references and catalogues.
With only 10 rooms, the boutique hotel area on the upper levels was decorated with a curated selection of products, books, ceramics and artworks—by Benjamin Ewing, Bente Hansen, Nicholas Shurey and Sofia Tufvasson, among others—in a peaceful atmosphere where soft colours, oak parquet and exposed beams give the feeling of being in a cosy cocoon.
Written on the exterior façade, a sentence in Latin from ancient Roman poet Virgil, “Ab uno disce omnes”, means “From one, learn all”—and inspires the name of the project. The philosophy also reflects the overall approach, focused on collaboration. For Danny Feltmann Espersen, CEO of MENU, “Blurring the lines between home and work, and uniting design, business and community in one innovative, physical space under constant renewal, The Audo is an experiential, sensorial residence”.