- Architects: Arcgency
- Location: Skudehavnsvej 1, 2150 Nordhavn,Copenhagen, Denmark
- Area: 285.0 m2
- Project Year: 2017
- Photographs: Rasmus Hjortshøj
- Structural Engineer: Rambøll
- Energy Engineer: Steensen Varming
- Mason: Anton Stenberg
- Electric Installations: Bram
- Upholstery: Finni design
- Steel Work: Gipcon
- Carpentry: Hyld kbh
- Glass: Kim Andersen
From the architect. THE KRANE is an immersive, multi-sensory experience. Inside is exclusive Danish design in black in homage to its past as a coal crane. Outside is the sea, sky, harbour and panoramic views over Copenhagen. An inventive, cohesive concept in this private retreat for two.
THE KRANE is an aesthetic oasis amidst an industrial landscape on the edge of Nordhavn, one of the last harbours under renovation in Denmark’s capital. Spearheaded by visionary owner Klaus Kastbjerg and architect / master builder Mads Møller from Arcgency, the concept builds on its dark past as a crane for loading coal by using black as the colour scheme throughout. Fostering a soothing sense of serenity inside this multi-tiered structure comprised of a reception area on the ground floor, a meeting room called the GLASS BOX on the first floor, a spa and terrace on the second floor, and a retreat on top called the KRANE ROOM with a lounge and terrace.
It reflects Denmark’s less-is-more stance on luxury, where anything extraneous is eliminated favouring only what’s essential. Inside, the subdued black interior sets the scene like a picture frame for the unobstructed views over Copenhagen and beyond.
The Art is the View
Step inside THE KRANE and you’ll instantly sense a re-definition of luxury deep in the Danish DNA. An understated elegance with only the essentials. It’s all part of the vision, where the focus has been the integration of sensations – sight, sound and stemning (the Danish word for atmosphere),” explains Møller, whose Arcgency projects include the Vipp Shelter, the Absalon Church, the Container Office, STACK I & II made with upcycled, repurposed shipping containers developed in collaboration with Kastbjerg. “THE KRANE involved a 360-degree inside / outside approach. Natural light directly affects how we feel in a space and our happiness overall. So we optimised the inside to capture natural daylight and set the stage for the views of the water outside. Curating the perfect materials and carefully calibrating how the light reflects the surfaces and how that impacts the way people perceive their surroundings. Then there’s the water outside. The water is probably 80% of THE KRANE experience. In Denmark, during the summer we have longer days of sunlight from about 5 am till 10 pm. Along the coastline, the light is very soft and diffused. From inside THE KRANE, even stormy weather looks amazing.”
Shades of Black
In addition to its allusions to coal, black plays a pivotal role in muting and minimising visual distractions so people feel almost enveloped in the interior. At the same time, black dramatizes the changing light and breath-taking views outside. For Møller, black isn’t just black. “There are hundreds of different shades of black. Depending on the time of day, you can see so many subtle nuances.” For Kastbjerg, “Usually you go to a hotel and a thousand things are happening. You’re at the hotel to de-stress from work but now you have to de-stress from the hotel. With THE KRANE, the black interior combined with the crispy white bed sheets makes everything quiet. You can feel calm, at peace. Enjoying the view as the art.”
Leather, wood, stone and steel. They’re just some of the noble materials you’ll see in the furniture, designs and décor details. Not only is the furniture custom-made to fit the concept and the dimensions, the interior is constructed so the primary pieces disappear – with the beds, seating and cupboards integrated into wall panels and the functional pieces hidden away. The result is an extra element of discovery, where objects become like sculptures in a stunning still life. Everything is handcrafted by artisans in homage to Denmark’s expertise in craftsmanship. Adding even more to the exclusivity.
The Old Reincarnated Into Something New
In terms of location, THE KRANE is exclusive yet inclusive. Whether you’re renting the living space, spa, meeting room or reception area, you’re removed from the city without feeling too remote, yet close to the pulse of the city just minutes away. “It’s rare to find a harbour like this in Denmark,” explains Kastbjerg, “Nordhavn still has an industrial look and feel that’s attracting entrepreneurs, artisans and others. We kept that rough, industrial feeling and added something unexpected. An old engine room that’s now a high-end retreat where you can enjoy champagne and a spectacular view. Now that’s luxury.”
Given the 50 m2 of the top level alone, encompassing the bedroom, lounge and terrace, every detail matters. It’s a deceptive size when you consider the enormous sense of space outside. A wow factor matched by Kastbjerg’s intention to showcase Danish design. “I’ve worked with the families of Arne Jacobsen and Verner Panton,” notes Kastbjerg. So I wanted THE KRANE to signal some of Denmark’s most innovative brands on the global arena.” Look for high-profile Danish brands within lifestyle and design, selected for their signature style, impeccable quality and craftsmanship.
While other cities renovate areas overlooked and end up eliminating appealing aspects of their past, THE KRANE honours its past with a new reason for being. “How can you tell your kids about an old industrial port if there’s nothing left of it? New buildings don’t have the same charm or story to tell. I wanted to retain the crane and transform it into an icon for Nordhavn. Which I think we’ve achieved with Mads, his team at Arcgency and everyone else who contributed to the outcome. It was a fantastic experience. It took us two years, so it was nice to collaborate with people who shared the same dream.”