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NOMA Foodlab


Designed while at 3XN, Construction completed in 2011

NOMA is a world-renowned, Michelin star restaurant that has been ranked #1 restaurant in the world, multiple times over. They have achieved such acclaim by embracing the uniqueness of Nordic Culture and inventively reflecting its essence into their dishes. In 2011, 3XN was commissioned to design and build the “FoodLab” for NOMA - where they would experiment with and conceive new recipes.  This project was a unity between technology and craft. The space was parametrically designed, fabricated with CNC milling technology, and then assembled by hand.

The design features four central multi-functional storage units, each crafted from over five hundred uniquely shaped wooden cubes. These units whimsically curve through the space, creating distinct zones for the food lab, herb garden, staff areas, and office, reflecting the playful and functional essence of the culinary exploration happening within.


In alignment with the restaurant's ethos, the NOMA Lab serves as an imaginative 'experimentarium,' providing a space for chefs from the globally acclaimed restaurant to refine their skills and contribute to the evolution of Modern Nordic cuisine.

Each rectangle is a 4' x 8' plywood sheet. This drawing represents the entire NOMA Foodlab, as a 2-dimensional cut-sheet

After being CNC-milled, the wood pieces are then assembled like a giant jig-saw puzzle. 

The project was built in a historically protected building. Therefore, not a single nail could enter the walls or columns. No structure could attach to the interior. With this in mind, the design was conceptualized as a freestanding structure. The idea was then taken one step further as the cabinet modules appear to float effortlessly, as they wind their way around the room. 

The interior of NOMA Restaurant's food lab harmoniously blends the realms of gastronomy and architecture, embodying a contemporary interpretation of the Nordic aesthetic. These units, playfully curving throughout the 200M2 space, delineate smaller sections for the Food Lab, herb garden, staff areas, and office.

Embracing a raw and straightforward design, it encapsulates a distinctive Nordic aesthetic. In adherence to the restaurant's ethos, the NOMA Lab exclusively incorporates Nordic materials, reinforcing a commitment to authenticity and a connection with the region's cultural and design identity.

The interior design, influenced by organic shapes and abstracted elements, employs natural materials like wood to cultivate a warm atmosphere. Embracing the beauty of nature, the space seamlessly blends aesthetics with comfort, creating an inviting ambiance. 

Micro-greens herb garden

The herb garden-on-wheels was constructed using digitally-designed components that effortlessly interlock, resembling a jigsaw puzzle. The innovative design ensures a cohesive and functional herb garden that can be easily adapted and rearranged as needed.

Photos and Drawings Courtesy of 3XN

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