Client: New Mags
 Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen & Marie Liebhardt/Norm Architects
Photo credits: Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen & Marie Liebhardt

All is stillness inside the new flagship store of New Mags, located in an exclusive zone of the historical center of Copenhagen. “The coolest and most stylish literature on the planet,” is the company’s claim, based on a philosophy shared with Norm Architects, the designers of the spaces. “Books remind us of what we love and what’s important. What we have been, what we are and what we can become.”

This awareness is nurtured through slow timing, spaces suspended in a state of calm. The architects have triggered this sensation in their new concept for the store, inspired by the atmosphere of traditional libraries, temples of silence and reading, where the volumes are on equal footing with works of art. Natural materials like oak and golden sandstone form a peaceful setting for immersion in stories, novels, magazines or travel books, or for the enjoyment of games and accessories.

Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen of Norm Architects explains: “We looked at old libraries with large wooden shelving, long study tables and library lamps in old buildings, where beautiful and large volumes were packed in shelves alongside prominent sculptures and ornamental moldings. We set out to design a contemporary and more minimalist version [of a library], where all the books could be displayed in different ways in a warm, cozy, and interesting atmosphere.”

The main characteristic of the set-up can be seen in the folding panels of natural oak, which smooth out the irregularities of the architecture and function both as display partitions and dividers, providing spaces created in corners and gaps of the existing structure. This necessary vertical division was needed to give rise to a well-organized space. The use of stone sculptures by Josephine Winding adds a gesture of welcome as well as variations of height, in soft, organic contrast with the linear architectural parts.