Noma 2.0: A raw natural paradise in the city

Culture

Noma 2.0
Photo: Rasmus Hjortshøj
 

Are you a fan of urban nature? And of architecture? Then visit Noma, situated on the outer edge of Christiania, where BIG has created a close-to-nature village for the world’s best restaurant.

As you bike down Refshalevej along Copenhagen’s old ramparts, you need to keep your eyes open. The new Noma is situated on the outskirts of Christiania, nestled between two lakes. Only a flimsy steel sign reading “noma” reveals the uniqueness of this location.

The new Noma, which has previously held the title of World’s Best Restaurant, was designed by Bjarke Ingels Group. Called a “garden village” by BIG, the new Noma is an enclave of small buildings, greenhouses and raised beds in front of the old Søminedepot, a WWII-era arsenal and heritage site.  

The 11 structures on the property are made from many different materials – tied together by the element of glass. And this is not by chance. In fact, the primary aim of the architecture is to enhance the guests’ experience of the different and changing Nordic seasons. It is these Nordic seasons that form the foundation for Noma’s menu.

If you take the little path to the left of the main entrance path, you can continue around the lake to the opposite shore, where you will find a wooden bench. Here, among the home-built houses of Christiania, you can enjoy a full view of Noma’s gardens and architecture. A genuine natural paradise in the city.

Facts:

  • Noma is Danish chef René Redzepi’s world-renowned restaurant. The name Noma is a contraction of the Danish words “NOrdisk” (Nordic) and “MAd” (food). 
  • In 2010, Noma was named the World’s Best Restaurant by Restaurant Magazine – the first Danish restaurant ever to carry the title. This honor was repeated in 2011, 2012 and 2014. 
  • In 2017, René Redzepi and Noma’s management made the surprising decision to close the old Noma in Christianshavn. They wanted to rethink the restaurant and recreate it in an area that was closer to nature.
  • The Søminedepot on Holmen was the property of the Danish military for many years. But in 1998, the property was sold to the real estate developer Mogens de Linde. 
  • From 2008, the building was completely abandoned. The Søminedepot has since appeared in countless graffiti blogs, and in May 2011 young squatters turned the area into their summer dream with food stalls, an assembly room and a campsite.
  • It is only possible to tour the grounds with special permission or if you are a restaurant guest.