Look out of the windows in newly built The Silo and you are greeted with a view full of contrasts. If you glance in one direction, there’s the endless bustle of Copenhagen’s industrial Nordhavn harbour. Turn the other way, and there’s nothing but open water. In the distance, you might even spot wind turbines turning in the Øresund Strait, all that stands between here and the coast of Sweden.
The architect of this new landmark, a complete top-to-toe reimagining of an old grain silo, is Danish studio Cobe.
‘It was a very complicated process. It would have been easier to create a whole new building, so I have a lot of respect for the innovative developer Klaus Kastbjerg and the architects who saw this place’s potential,’ says Henrik Bo Bach. A property developer himself, Henrik has bought an apartment here, which he shares with his son Karl.
Many of the other tenants have chosen to plaster and paint over the rough cement walls of their apartments, but for Henrik this industrial aesthetic was a large part of the appeal. He saw beauty in the flaws of the raw material, the starkness of which serves to highlight this space’s seven-metre-high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows.
The interior, in all its simple elegance, was a collaboration between Henrik, his architect friend Jesper Skjoldborg and interior designer Helle Flou. By adding sleek oak elements – door frames, cabinets, sideboards and more – the trio have given a more polished feel to the flat’s open-plan layout.
Most impressive of these bespoke pieces is the five-metre-long kitchen island, which is the social heart of this home. Eventually, bar stools will be placed at the end for the family to gather for quick breakfasts and for guests to perch on while they enjoy a drink and watch Henrik cook.
To accompany these custom-made designs, Henrik has assembled a tight edit of furniture, much of it by Danish designers Normann Copenhagen for Menu – the brand’s nearby showroom and café was one of the first big openings in this up-and-coming neighbourhood.
There is no bright colour or pattern here. Instead, the tonal hues of pieces like the ‘Harbour’ chair were chosen to ensure they would not compete with the views from the three balconies.
‘It is so tranquil to watch the sun rising over the water in the early morning and then to see it set on the other side of the apartment in the evening. It has to be the best part of living in this beautiful building,’ says Henrik, who also values the silence. High above the activity of the harbour, this minimalist home is an oasis of urban calm. cobe.dk