THE KRANE is an immersive, multi-sensory experience. Inside is exclusive Danish design in black in homage to its past as a coal crane. Outside is the sea, sky, harbour and panoramic views over Copenhagen. An inventive, cohesive concept in this private retreat for two.
THE KRANE is an aesthetic oasis amidst an industrial landscape on the edge of Nordhavn, one of the last harbours under renovation in Denmark’s capital. Spearheaded by visionary owner Klaus Kastbjerg and architect / master builder Mads Møller from Arcgency, the concept builds on its dark past as a crane for loading coal by using black as the colour scheme throughout. Fostering a soothing sense of serenity inside this multi-tiered structure comprised of a reception area on the ground floor, a meeting room called the GLASS BOX on the first floor, a spa and terrace on the second floor, and a retreat on top called the KRANE ROOM with a lounge and terrace.
It reflects Denmark’s less-is-more stance on luxury, where anything extraneous is eliminated favouring only what’s essential. Inside, the subdued black interior sets the scene like a picture frame for the unobstructed views over Copenhagen and beyond.
If this crane could talk … There’s a story behind how the crane became THE KRANE. Kastbjerg, a passionate, pivotal figure driving numerous projects on Copenhagen’s waterfronts, such as Paper Island (PapirØen), THE SILO, HARBOUR HOUSE and THE SIGNING ROOM, explains it best. “The harbour came with two cranes. When Paustian first opened its doors, they were having a big reception and the architect Jørn Utzon, who also designed the Sydney Opera House, asked if we could please move the crane to a more beautiful position. As Jørn stood on the quay directing us, we lifted the crane right there and then and moved it to the perfect spot. Years later when we started building HARBOUR HOUSE with Jørn and his architect sons Jan and Kim, we actually designed it around the crane. That was the first crane, which we transformed in 2005 into a place just meant for meetings called THE SIGNING ROOM. But we found ourselves wanting a nice place to sleep, maybe a spa and more. There was an old grain silo, which we converted into luxury apartments called THE SILO. We also renovated Paper Island into a cultural destination, involving the transformation of a 15,000 m2 former paper warehouse into showroom offices. Home to design house &tradition, Calvin Klein, Hilfiger, Henrik Vibskov and others, including art galleries, exhibition halls and Copenhagen Street Food. That’s in addition to other architecture and design projects in the works.“
“Through it all, the second crane on the harbour remained standing with an uncertain future. With its history and such incredible views of the water … So I decided to have it reincarnated into something contemporary but with soul.”
Every moment of your experience at THE KRANE has been mapped out to the millimetre. From a designated car with a concierge who meets you at the airport, acclimates you to the amenities and brings you breakfast every morning. To the interior design conceived by Møller to be soothing and inviting. To the curated, high-end furniture and the discrete construction of functionalities cleverly concealed for you to discover. Ascending the drawbridge-like staircase, moving through the steel structure gives you a feeling of leaving the ground. Arriving on the highest terrace, you feel on top of the world, looking out to the edge of the horizon.
The art is the view Step inside THE KRANE and you’ll instantly sense a re-definition of luxury deep in the Danish DNA. An understated elegance with only the essentials. It’s all part of the vision, where the focus has been the integration of sensations - sight, sound and stemning (the Danish word for atmosphere),” explains Møller, whose Arcgency projects include the Vipp Shelter, the Absalon Church, the Container Office, STACK I & II made with upcycled, repurposed shipping containers developed in collaboration with Kastbjerg. “THE KRANE involved a 360-degree inside / outside approach. Natural light directly affects how we feel in a space and our happiness overall. So we optimised the inside to capture natural daylight and set the stage for the views of the water outside. Curating the perfect materials and carefully calibrating how the light reflects the surfaces and how that impacts the way people perceive their surroundings. Then there’s the water outside. The water is probably 80% of THE KRANE experience. In Denmark, during the summer we have longer days of sunlight from about 5 am till 10 pm. Along the coastline, the light is very soft and diffused. From inside THE KRANE, even stormy weather looks amazing.” Shades of black In addition to its allusions to coal, black plays a pivotal role in muting and minimising visual distractions so people feel almost enveloped in the interior. At the same time, black dramatizes the changing light and breath-taking views outside. For Møller, black isn’t just black. “There are hundreds of different shades of black. Depending on the time of day, you can see so many subtle nuances.” For Kastbjerg, “Usually you go to a hotel and a thousand things are happening. You’re at the hotel to de-stress from work but now you have to de-stress from the hotel. With THE KRANE, the black interior combined with the crispy white bed sheets makes everything quiet. You can feel calm, at peace. Enjoying the view as the art.”
Still life Leather, wood, stone and steel. They’re just some of the noble materials you’ll see in the furniture, designs and décor details. Not only is the furniture custom-made to fit the concept and the dimensions, the interior is constructed so the primary pieces disappear - with the beds, seating and cupboards integrated into wall panels and the functional pieces hidden away. The result is an extra element of discovery, where objects become like sculptures in a stunning still life. Everything is handcrafted by artisans in homage to Denmark’s expertise in craftsmanship. Adding even more to the exclusivity.
Ahh… the spa In contrast to the womb-like effect of the black interior of the KRANE ROOM, the spa below takes a lighter approach, clad in stone from floor to ceiling. It boasts an immense, glazed glass wall as a window on one side, with a singular view of the harbour and the ocean. Kastbjerg remembers wondering, “With the winter weather in Denmark, we couldn’t really have a spa outside. But who wants to sit inside and miss the nature? So we designed one wall completely in glass and decided to have two spa baths. Those two details changed everything.” It all contributes to a sense of wellbeing from your hosts Amazing Space, who in this context are Amazing Krane. Think sea, sky, body and soul.
Where your mind & your imagination meet Why have a meeting room that’s boring to begin with when you can meet in a room with magnificent views, magnifying the impact of whatever you’re discussing? As Møller sees it, “It kick starts your imagination. Adding to the calm atmosphere are the wooden floors, their natural aroma and the acoustic ceiling. It’s the furthest thing from cold or corporate. “It’s a totally different experience from most of the dull meeting rooms I’ve been in,” adds Kastbjerg. “Here you have a panoramic view at the edge of the water. So your thoughts can somehow flow …”
The old reincarnated into something new In terms of location, THE KRANE is exclusive yet inclusive. Whether you’re renting the living space, spa, meeting room or reception area, you’re removed from the city without feeling too remote, yet close to the pulse of the city just minutes away. “It’s rare to find a harbour like this in Denmark,” explains Kastbjerg, “Nordhavn still has an industrial look and feel that’s attracting entrepreneurs, artisans and others. We kept that rough, industrial feeling and added something unexpected. An old engine room that’s now a high-end retreat where you can enjoy champagne and a spectacular view. Now that’s luxury.”
Given the 50 m2 of the top level alone, encompassing the bedroom, lounge and terrace, every detail matters. It’s a deceptive size when you consider the enormous sense of space outside. A wow factor matched by Kastbjerg’s intention to showcase Danish design. “I’ve worked with the families of Arne Jacobsen and Verner Panton,” notes Kastbjerg. So I wanted THE KRANE to signal some of Denmark’s most innovative brands on the global arena.” Look for high-profile Danish brands within lifestyle and design, selected for their signature style, impeccable quality and craftsmanship.
While other cities renovate areas overlooked and end up eliminating appealing aspects of their past, THE KRANE honours its past with a new reason for being. “How can you tell your kids about an old industrial port if there’s nothing left of it? New buildings don’t have the same charm or story to tell. I wanted to retain the crane and transform it into an icon for Nordhavn. Which I think we’ve achieved with Mads, his team at Arcgency and everyone else who contributed to the outcome. It was a fantastic experience. It took us two years, so it was nice to collaborate with people who shared the same dream.”
Enjoy this unconventional angle on luxury that’s upscale yet down to earth. Raw yet refined. With enviable views of light and the water outside as the centrepiece inside. A refreshing take on escape in the form of a private getaway - where you’re the only guests.