Sailboats moored at the edges of Nyhavn’s canal rock beneath a sentinel of 17th-century townhouses whose brightly colored facades only heighten their fairy-tale geometry. Café tables jamming the promenade are packed with people soaking up the sun, salty air, and nautical vibe, with a view of Paper Island and Inner Harbor in the distance. Founded by the Vikings and established as a fishing village, Copenhagen is as modern and forward-thinking as it is well-preserved and rooted in its storied past. Few cities have morphed from charming capital to international culture destination as quickly as Copenhagen, which has built a new metro system, a Jean Nouvel–designed opera house, and a five-mile, cable-stayed bridge to Malmö, Sweden, since the turn of the 20th century alone.
Words by Lee Magill and Images courtesy of Visit Denmark
Just as wildfires play a vital role in nature, renewing the land they burn, human fires have a way of spurring unprecedented innovation in efforts to rebuild what was lost. A quintessential case in point is the small German town of Weil am Rhein, home to the architectural park cum production facility–retail complex known as Vitra Campus, owned by the Swiss interior design firm whose corporate headquarters lies just across the border in Birsfelden, Switzerland. The Weil am Rhein facility was Vitra's factory until a massive fire destroyed nearly everything in 1981, leaving Rolf Fehlbaum, son of founders Willi and Erika Fehlbaum, to ponder the site's future. Little did he know his anything but straight-line choices would give a select group of architects a carte blanche creative playground and their followers the architectural equivalent of a magnificent outdoor sculpture garden whose works are by turns whimsical, edgy, and exuberant.
Words by Lee Magill + Photography courtesy of Vitra
A series of unfortunate events led Instrument to its new 30,000-square-foot offices in north Portland. First, there was a fire that unexpectedly broke out on the Fourth of July in 2009, prompting them to get booted from their original space that very day. So they set up shop in a former World War II airplane hangar nicknamed “The Outpost” that was cool and all, but really best used for parking airplanes and not necessarily dreaming up visual campaigns. Still, the team had nowhere else to go. “It was a company moment when everyone had to hunker down and tough it out,” says Instrument’s chief creative officer JD Hooge. But the predicament led Hooge and company CEO Justin Lewis to wonder: What if they built a new office from scratch and customized it to their specifications?
Words by Matt McCue + Photography by Andrew Pogue and Ryan Garber
Distraction has reached new heights at the office of creative agency DHNN. Instead of trying to ignore buzzing group texts on your phone or the snacks in the company kitchen, imagine having to avoid the temptation to jump in the office pool?
Words by Kiana St Louis + Photography by Federico Cairoli
The entrance to Mother New York’s offices on Manhattan’s far west side in Midtown conveys that this isn’t your typical cubicle grid farm. Greeting visitors upon arrival are a series of hand saws nailed to a wall, a stuffed brown bear standing upright, a fleet of antique toy sailboats, and a ruby-red London telephone booth. Directly inside the entry door is a long bar that doubles as the front desk, where receptionists serve hand-pulled espressos and pour drafts of Stella Artois beer (a client).
Words by Matt McCue + Photography by Franck Bohbot
When a recession hits, creative agencies usually take a huge hit. But when an economic slowdown hit Barcelona, &Rosàs founder Jordi Rosàs saw an opportunity. He rented two underpriced floors of an old bank in the city’s historic Via Laietana neighborhood to establish a new airy workspace for his 18 employees.
Words by Sean Blanda + Photography by Adrià Cañameras