Norm Architects Completed Nærvær, Place for Cosy and Intimate Gatherings

Nærvær is both a wine bar and a restaurant located in a fairly new and contemporary building overlooking the canal with a beautiful view Copenhagen’s old city centre. The name Nærvæmeans “Presence” and the aim of the owners was to create a local spot emphasised by an intimate and cosy atmosphere that underlines a sense of presence. The restaurant was designed by Copenhagen-based architectural office Norm Architects.

“With a humble and intimate approach to the interior, Nærværis formed by a casual atmosphere with small spaces and niches for guests to enjoy. With an interior design defined by an array of stone, wood and metal, the materials are all natural and have deliberately been altered in order to create dark and industrial surfaces that matches the mood of the place. This conscious focus on tactility brings a warm, material richness to the interior that naturally compliments the raw concrete walls and industrial framework of the space. Paying respect to the existing features of the space and surrounding area, the colour palette reflects the exterior of the building, bringing a dark and warm spectrum of colours into the space that intensifies the intimacy. This contrasting use of materials, colours and objects ultimately enhances the intimate experience and sense of presence that was the initial catalyst for the project. While dwelling on the concept, the owners dreamt of creating a winebar that everyone could afford to visit and where being a regular would actually be rewarded. As one of the owners mentioned ‘I discovered that a glass of wine at the winebar I used to visit became more and more expensive. Nobody cared if I dropped by once or twice a week and spend my money with them.’ This sparked the idea of creating a series of private wine boxes that always could be filled with new grapes from different regions, rewarding regulars and allowing them to explore new wines at affordable prices. In addition, a laidback, friendly yet knowing staff is always there to help you choose the right wine rather than handing over a dictionary to get lost in. Presence also lies at the essence of Nærvær’s gourmet restaurant run by well known Danish chef Yves Le Lay. His vision was to have an extraordinary experience within the inner part of Nærvæwhere he would not be hidden away from guests behind steaming pots in the kitchen. Instead, he wished to be out in the open, facing each and every guest — all night. Here, the kitchen is the scene and the guests the audience, experiencing the live engagement and artistry of the chef directly every night. With a high bar surrounding him and his small team, the restaurant has no set menu and no 2-hour seatings. Furthermore the kitchen is French at its core, combined with the simplicity and freshness of the Danish,” said Norm Architects

  • Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Design: Norm Architects
  • Interior architect: Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen
  • Interior designer: Laura Bilde
  • Lead architect: Laura Bilde


Dining area

Bar stools
Various types of seating areas

Menu board
Detail of lighting