In 1970, Danish designer Nanna Ditzel (1923-2005) took on the interior of Kvadrat’s showroom in Ebeltoft. Poul Byriel and Erling Rasmussen founded the company Kvadrat in 1968 and with the release of Nanna Ditzel’s Hallingdalcollection. Right from the start, the company upheld a golden rule to only work with the best. By 2018 Kvadrat is a global fabric empire. Last year they invited London based Sevil Peach to redesign their headquarters. In the past ten years SevilPeach Architecture + Design made a name for itself as the expert on decorating multiple occupancy buildings like Spaces and Education First London, where freelancers and small businesses can rent temporary office and meeting spaces.
In a rustic location in the dunes along the Aarhus Bay sit a million miles of fabric, waiting for their new owners. Each roll capable of permanently changing a piece of furniture or space in a positive manner.
In 2018 WOTH was invited to visit the new headquarters. Aftter a bumpy flight in the smallest plane the editors had ever flown in, was followed by an almost serene taxi ride through the impressive dune landscape of Midtjylland. In the distance, between the waving grass, the contours of the building emerged. It’s like structure complying with the curving landscape: an interplay of architecture, natural environment, art and design, just like architects Poulsen and Therkildsen intended.
For visitors there are Wellingtons under the coatrack, so they can hike through the vast landscape garden alongside grey Jutland sheep without getting their feet dirty. Once inside, everything feels simple and the human form reigns. A warm, bright and hospitable cafeteria and many open spaces filled with fine vintage furniture and impressive art. Inspiring. ‘But it hasn’t always been this way,’ an employee tells me. Before the reconstruction, the 1980s building had an outdated interior: dark with small offices. It was no longer tenable. And so they invited Sevil Peach to come and change things.
Looking back, Peach talks about her first impressions. ‘I didn’t think the building reflected the company at all! The building had nice elements: the beautiful landscape around it, the sensitive use of daylight, and the lovely white bricks – which add a Danish touch. There was definitely a family feel to the place at lunchtime, when food was served in the cafeteria. But beyond that one just didn’t see people or activity because all the workplaces were enclosed and hidden. You’d go into the warehouse and they’d show you all these textiles, stacked up to the top: it was phenomenal, but there was no presence of the textiles in the main building. We wanted to be able to see the DNA and spirit of the company: the fabrics, the work behind the fabrics, and the people who make it happen.’