Having studied Architecture and Urban Planning in his hometown of Aarhus, Søren Martinussen joined Denmark's perhaps most notable Architecture firm - the renowned and aptly named - BIG in 2010. He’s since worked on both Danish and International projects, including the recent Bassin 7 which is part of the progressive redevelopment project of Aarhus harbour. We've gotten to know Søren well as he often passes the store with his son Leo whose favourite juice bar sits right next to us. The two of them often enjoy the beverages on the bench in front of the store and Søren became a good friend of ours through these sittings. Over the years, he's also come to be a long time supporter of the store.
You might also recognise him as a model for both the Goods store and Capital Goods label.
What is your most important task in life and in your work?
My most important task in life is to ensure that my family is well, that our everyday life works and we manage to balance the relationship between our working and private lives. When it comes to work, the most important task is to strive for the perfect journey to the most refined and optimised final architectural results and then making sure that whoever is joining that journey feels that they are appreciated and have (creative) room to contribute to the team and specific project.
What is your relation to Goods and Kasper?
I was hunting for a Mackintosh Dunoon coat. I'd only tried it once on a trip to Tokyo. I kind of had the impression that no Danish retailer would ever carry this item. Then, in my digital search for a retailer; Goods popped up in my browser. Around this time I lived in Vesterbro so I had actually never physically visited the shop. So, I went and was immediately impressed by the line of brands Kasper had in store. I managed to get the Dunoon coat and have worn it almost every day since. Then later that year I moved to Østerbro with my family. Actually just around the corner from the store which is kind of an interesting coincident. I started to visit the shop often from then on, just passing by, relaxing on the bench in the summer sun talking to Kasper about different kind of topics… And out of this a friendship evolved.
What does it mean to you to be well dressed both at work and on your own time?
What I wear at work or outside work is more or less the same… The line is really blurry. Common Projects shoes work fine for a meeting and also suits a Saturday stroll around the neighbourhood. The same goes for a Sunspel pullover or an Our Legacy shirt. Porter bags a really perfect for short journeys as well, being it work or pleasure. At certain occasions we have to dress up on the job, but it really depends on who you are meeting with and where in the world the project is etc. etc.
What’s important to you when you buy clothing?
I'd say brand knowledge and service. What I really appreciate at Goods is the fact that Kasper cares about what he sells, he knows the production, the fit, the fabric and often even the guys behind the brands. I really value the fact that he cuts off all the randomness and fake make-up of clothing transactions which are often the norm. The specific piece offered in the shop is there for a reason… It’s like the curating of an art exhibition, every piece is connected and adds up to a rational entity. And, like an exhibition the “space” fulfils the perception of the larger entity. Always. If this notion works (which it really does in this case) and the staff cares, it works for me.
Do you see any relation between clothing design and Architecture?
I actually find this notion really interesting. In a way you can say that both clothing design and architecture in its purest form just solves some basic daily needs of human beings. Staying warm in the cold and dry in the rain, protecting you from the sun and keeping you comfortable etc. etc. That being said, the ambition and issues to solve, both in architecture and clothing, can evolve to great complexity. The major difference between the two is the speed… Architecture compared to fashion is in its very nature a much slower process. Anyways, both are often physically connected through the concept of flagship stores or just designed interiors in general…
Tell us about your recent project. What can the people of your hometown expect of their harbour in the future?
We won a bid to rethink the harbour area called Bassin 7 on the Aarhus waterfront. Normally, you win a competition by entering a specific project and then it is judged and ultimately (hopefully) chosen from there, but this process was different. We won the task based solely through a series of interviews and a brief description of our team constellation and a written vision for the area. You can say that, rather than drawing the area for the municipality, we created an area with the municipality. The main ambition of the plan is to create urban life, before creating private residences. It is more or less always the other way around… so that was a challenge.
Besides developing the masterplan we are going to build a theatre, several restaurants, a harbour-bath and a 25.000 m2 residential project called AARhus, AAR being the international code for the city, "hus" meaning house in Danish. The urban fabric of Aarhus city consists mainly of townhouses, courtyard buildings and towers. AARhus as a typology is derived from these architectural types, all mixed in as one architectural answer. And one which I am really proud of.
What’s your favorite place in Copenhagen?
I think Copenhagen has a lot to offer. Fælledparken works well in the weekend with Mille (my wife) and Leo, and the blue void of the lakes are always cosy for a stroll, the entire area around Kastellet is perfect for a run, while the activities and goings on of Papirøen are innovative and interesting, while Island Brygge is nice; especially in the summer for an urban dip, Værnedamsvej, Elmegade, Sønder Boulevard and Kødbyen all offer interesting places to go out as well. Copenhagen is just big enough to have various neighbourhoods which perform differently in relation to each other while offering activities of a great span, seemingly never capitalising on each other. That is something I really appreciate.
Would you like to recommend anything in particular?
The bench outside Goods works well on a sunny Saturday…