Guided by a shared, conceptual philosophy and aesthetic vision, atelier axo works within the disciplines of small-scale architecture, interiors and furniture design. Wielding a unique, exploratory approach to materiality and shape, the female-led studio employs interdisciplinary methods and workshops to craft engaging dialogues through design. Founded by designer, Rose Hermansen and architect, Caroline Sillesen in 2019, the studio’s commercial clients include fine art galleries, high-end retail boutiques, restaurants and offices.
Together with the house, atelier axo has re-imagined the Audo’s Salon and Restaurant using their intuitive approach to atmosphere and form. During this year’s 3DaysofDesign event, visitors can explore The Audo’s new look, curated and designed by atelier axo.
Q: WHERE DID YOUR INTEREST IN ARCHITECTURE ARISE FROM?
A: Since childhood, we’ve both been creative in various ways and have always taken a natural interest in architecture, materials, spaces and objects. You could say that we are both very curious and preoccupied with stories and atmospheres.
Q: HOW DID YOUR ARCHITECTURAL BACKGROUND HELP SHAPE YOUR APPROACH TOWARDS REDESIGNING THE AUDO?
A: As architects, we are inherently focussed on materiality, volume and atmosphere. When entering a place, we like to register the perceptional experience and discuss how our senses interact and are stimulated by the surroundings.
To us, details are essential to how we feel in a given space and should guide our overall sensory impression. Our work is typically characterized by a sense of tactility, a subtlety with which we work in different ways, for example in different lighting scenarios and textures. In everything we do, we wish to stimulate one’s sense of curiosity.
A: WHERE DO YOU DRAW INSPIRATION FROM WITHIN YOUR LIVES?
A: We are primarily interested in people and their stories, practices and everyday rituals. Culture and memory play a major role, and we strive to expand our viewpoint to include inspiration from the idioms and stories of different cultures.
We are both particularly concerned with memory and perceptions — that is, how we register and sense the world, and how those sensations are stored in both the body and brain's memory. How we can rediscover previously-experienced spaces within the confines of our own memories and recollections, and how they can be brought back to life through scent, light or something as simple as the sensation of grasping a door handle.
Q: HOW HAS YOUR VISION FOR THE AUDO CHANGED SINCE YOU EMBARKED ON THE PROCESS OF REIMAGINING THE SPACE?
A: As with many other projects, the vision changed throughout the process. The restaurant space evolved from a casual bistro into a fine dining restaurant concept — which changed the flow of the space, both for employees and guests. It also influenced the parameters for the selected furniture pieces and how the setting should feel and look.
Q: THE RE-DESIGN WAS INSPIRED, IN PART, BY INTERNATIONAL HOTEL LOBBIES. ASIDE FROM THE AUDO'S OBVIOUS CONNECTION TO THE HOSPITALITY WORLD, WERE THERE ANY OTHER SOURCES FROM WHICH YOU DREW INSPIRATION FOR THIS CONCEPT?
A: The project was mainly about curation. We didn’t change the interior as a whole but rather focused on how we could influence and construct the flow of the space. Through our furniture choices, we were able to curate and develop different zones. From this perspective, we were inspired by the interplay between private and public, exploring the ways in which different private homes and restaurants can create a sense of homeliness and atmosphere.