1 Aug '16

Outdoors In

Nature has always been an important element in Scandinavian design and is part of Nordic Bakery’s ethos in providing a peaceful place to counter the effects of living and working in a busy city.

Biophilic design principles (design that connects people to nature) have been embraced by architects and designers as a way to boost health by reducing stress.   We’ve sought to bring natural materials and organic forms, reminiscent of those found in the climate and plant world, closer to our customers.

Nordic design

Walk into any Nordic Bakery café and the first thing you’ll sense is the light. Natural light floods in through huge windows, connecting us with the ever changing sky and cloud formations that so typify England’s weather.

Throughout our cafes, we’ve also used modest colour palettes on the floor, ceiling and walls to reflect big skies, moonlit lakes, and coastal landscapes.

Wood is our material of choice and the floor-to-ceiling bare pine wall is a prominent feature in each café. The impact is almost like bringing the shelter of a Finnish forest right into a city centre coffee shop. There is something quite calming about its presence. We’ve deliberately chosen a wood that has not been refined because we wanted the rough texture to be reminiscent of a tree branch – tactile and solid.

In Scandinavia, textiles are woven, knotted or knitted into designs that bring pleasure and comfort. It’s not unusual to hang them on the wall and they are often passed down through generations or given as wedding presents and gifts. We particularly like rya or ‘ryijy’, a long piled rug, because this adds a comforting sense of warmth and a beautiful depth of colour.

Our Golden Square café features a vintage hand-knotted wall ‘ryijy’called ‘Burning Forest’ from Kirsti Ilvessalo. We’ve hung it on the wood wall, where its rich, blazing orange leaf pattern adds to the log cabin atmosphere.

For our New Cavendish Street café, we’ve chosen a simple Moroccan vintage Azilal rug featuring an ivory and black diamond geometric pattern. This style has strong links to Alvar Aalto and rugs similar to it were sold at the Artek store from the mid 1930’s. The long, thick pile is reminiscent of deep winter snow, criss crossed with the shadows of fallen twigs.

At a time when many of us live our lives through the touch screen of a smartphone, it’s easy to forget the subtle patterns and textures of the natural world and we hope that a visit to Nordic Bakery brings our customers a touch of the outdoors, inside.