Tucked away across a bridge in the center of Copenhagen, Denmark lies the largest hotel room the city has to offer: the Vipp Loft. You might recognize Vipp's name from the classic trashcan design that put them on the map exactly 80 years ago. "My grandfather made the Vipp trashcan for my grandmother's hairdressing salon 80 years ago, " recalls Vipp CEO and third generation owner Kasper Egelund. "It was simply an industrial product with a very specific purpose."
"At a car dealership, you can touch a car, sure. But it's the moment you drive it and dream it that you know you want to commit."
But now Vipp is positioning themselves as so much more than a trashcan brand. Over the span of 80 years, they have branched out into designing a full kitchen, living room and dining room seating—even two luxury hotels, Vipp Shelter and Vipp Loft. "When we opened the Vipp Shelter in Sweden, people instantly wanted to stay there and experience it for themselves. We weren't in the hotel industry, but the interest was huge," says says Egelund. The Vipp Shelter is a remote home in the forest that allows visitors an impeccably designed experience where they're able to test Vipp products in a comfortable living situation. "It's all about giving people the opportunity to take a step into an experience economy where you're able to test environments and products before committing," he continued.
After contemplating what it means to "try before you buy", the Vipp team decided to apply a similar model to the vacant top floor of their office. "We realized we should just take the full step and design a place where people can live instead of a showroom designed for meetings. At a car dealership, you can touch a car, sure. But it's the moment you drive it and dream it that you know you want to commit."
Vipp gave designer David Thulstrup (also known for the recent Noma redesign) full reign over designing and decorating the space, and it shows. The result is a massive, two-level space made cozy with thoughtful details, including carefully placed Vipp products, natural wood beams, art pieces from local Copenhagen artists, lush greenery, a custom staircase and heated bathroom tiles. During sunrise and sunset, the massive windows symmetrically placed on both sides of the loft let in just the right angles and amount of natural lighting. And if you seek total darkness, the automatic blind system allows for easy adjustments.
When asked about the careful mix between Vipp's industrial products and natural materials like wood, Egelund expressed the importance in striking the right balance. "It's on purpose that the Vipp products are surrounded by more natural products and materials to soften and warm things up," he says. The experience is all in the textural details and senses, from the smells after cooking in the fully stocked kitchen to the sounds emitted from the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A9 speaker to the comforting heated bathroom tiles.
Yup, that's what home should feel like.
No matter how popular Vipp becomes for its wider range of products and sought-after luxury design experiences, though, Egelund and his team will never forget where the company started. "The story of Vipp starts and still continues with a bin my grandfather made for my grandmother. It's an industrial product that was never originally intended as a product for domestic use, and today, 80 years later, its design is almost exactly the same."
Try your luck getting a reservation at the Vipp Loft or Vipp Shelter here. And keep an eye out for Vipp's upcoming third hotel, Chimney House, which will open sometime this year.
Emily is a freelance writer based in NYC with an interest in all things design, specifically the design process. When she's not writing about design, Emily can either be found taking care of her 31 houseplants, going on "nature" walks in her neighborhood or studying Japanese. Before going freelance, Emily was an Editor at Core77.