There’s a concept in Denmark that roughly translates to the idea of being cozy. For many, a form of hygge is to spend time nesting somewhere pleasant. So it is no surprise that, in a nation of domestic dwellers and cold winter months, great industrial design is such a prominent feature inside the home.
For years, Danish furniture company Gubi has played the role of treasure hunter, maintaining the fragments that one will often find at the core of fine Scandinavian interiors. At the company’s inception in 1967 by husband-and-wife duo Gubi and Lisbeth Olsen, they primarily focused on manufacturing a house label with original designs. After three decades and a passing of the torch, the firm began re-launching iconic pieces dating back through nearly 100 years of design history—such as Bonderup & Thorup, Greta M. Grossman, and so on—for a contemporary market. Chief creative officer, the founder’s son Jacob Gubi, has been quoted time and again, driving home this model. “We’re on a continual quest. A journey. Fuelled by our passion to discover overlooked icons from the past, and future icons in the making.” Bringing bygone articles together has helped the company uphold a timeless collection.
Today, a quick look into some of Copenhagen’s most striking professional interiors—such as Matt Orlando’s Amass, and Claus Meyer’s the Standard—makes it evident that Gubi is also shaping the way the industry will lead through new original additions to the existing collection. With clean lines and plush fabrics, articles such as the identifiable Masculo chair from GamFratesi, are becoming classics of their own. “With the design of Masculo chair,” the Italian design duo explains, “our idea was to experiment with a kind of contradiction between Danish furniture traditions and challenge it in the combination with contemporary dynamic lines and translations of materials.”
Having opened a retail store in Copenhagen’s city centre November 2014, the site is styled as only a Danish design house could have it—impeccably. Chosen carefully, their only shop is housed within a stately building from 1916 not far from the main shopping thoroughfare. Saunter through two floors of covetable goods, or for the more adventurous, the showroom located in Copenhagen’s Nordhavn is an expansive 2,000-square-metre space. The refined layout and showcase is a striking contrast to the hard shipyard environment and often rocky waves outside. But it wouldn’t be fair for the Danes to keep all of the Gubi goods to themselves. Taking brokers in Sweden, Norway, the U.K., and Germany, the company plans to branch into the North American market with an upcoming website. “There is a momentum in our company right now to extend out our brand,” says Jacob Gubi. “But we’re not rushing this. It should be in the right time and place. Although, there is no doubt that when we do so, it will be in the metropolises around the globe.”