A Ground-Breaking, Visually Stunning Restaurant
Alchemist in Copenhagen is a
two-star Michelin restaurant designed by London-based Studio Duncalf, who was responsible together with Head Chef Rasmus Munk for the entire interior design process, from the early ideas right through to the finishing touches on site, with a tight focus on developing a space that gave substance to Munk’s innovative vision. Bagnara is a company that specializes in the quarrying, processing and distribution of natural stone, and its materials were a key component of this design, embellishing the rooms with ethereal beauty in a succession of perfect matches with the other elements.
The restaurant is housed in an old industrial warehouse that was once the set-building workshop for the Royal Danish Theatre.
The designers added two levels to the original warehouse space to produce a series of rooms, each one with a different atmosphere. The interior is filled with special effects that have been specifically chosen to take the “adventure” diners on a sensory journey that extends far beyond a culinary experience into a holistic vision of dining that merges the visual arts, theater and gourmet exploration. Clearly, this required a range of materials to be incorporated in the design, particularly Bagnara’s natural stones. Brazilian Brown Silk quartzite is one of the defining elements, with its characteristic brownish tone and an unmistakable flowing, linear pattern from the vein cut. When a cross-cut is used for this same quartzite, its appearance changes significantly as the roundish rock pockets become particularly prominent, leading to it being called Moonrock, for obvious reasons. Both cuts were used in the project for the kitchen, while Sicilian Grigio Billiemi marble was chosen for the table tops in the dining area. Such surfaces are food safe as the company takes great care during its processing phases and uses food-safe resin. The layout of the restaurant is also notable, with guests entering through an imposing, custom-made bronze portal that leads to an experience room with a private solo violin concert and through to the lounge where panorama windows provide an expansive view of the workshop kitchen. This is where people enjoy a pre-dinner drink and can, appropriately, savor the enchanting view through glass to the three-levels of the wine cellar. Next, stairs take diners up to the climax of the experience: the dining area is conceived as a planetarium, covered by a dome onto which moving images are projected. There is also a view of the main kitchen. The final stop is the balcony lounge, reached via an elevator and housing a bar for tea tasting and a fireplace. This is a visionary, visually spectacular experience in which the Brown silk, Moonrock and Grigio Billiemi stones from Bagnara really add to the overall sense of elegant discretion.