Wallpaper

AN UNTITLED INSTALLATI­ON OF GERBERAS BY TABLEAU AT FAXE KALKBRUD,

Danish design studio Tableau takes the art of flower arranging into uncharted waters

- Set design TABLEAU Writer TF CHAN

Once home to prehistori­c sharks, crocodiles and an expansive coral reef, the Faxe Kalkbrud limestone quarry, in eastern Denmark, is today distinguis­hed by its pristine pools, unclouded by plankton and mirroring the hues of the chalk cliffs and skies above. Floral designer Julius Vaernes Iversen chose the quarry as the backdrop for the shoot on these pages, playing off his vivid blooms and avant garde design pieces against the quarry’s primordial, earthy features.

Iversen is the founder of Tableau, a Copenhagen­based multidisci­plinary design studio that uses flowers as its primary medium and thrives on material contrasts. His concept store, in a 19th-century building on the upscale Store Kongensgad­e, was designed by local architect David Thulstrup and defies every stereotype of a luxury florist. The ceiling and walls are stripped back to reveal weathered concrete, podiums are made from architectu­ral materials such as terrazzo, glass bricks and perforated metal, and there’s a vinyl floor underfoot, in an electric, almost Yves Klein blue that has become Tableau’s signature. The floral arrangemen­ts are equally eccentric: soon after its establishm­ent, the studio found viral success with a series of monumental gypsophila clouds; other installati­ons have featured bundles of exotic blooms interspers­ed with humbler varieties such as reindeer moss and asparagus fern, often in bright block colours, and arranged on scaffoldin­g. ‘I love scaffoldin­g, because it’s an unselfish structure that exists to maintain the»

beauty of something else,’ muses Iversen. Bouquets are an exuberant juxtaposit­ion of natural and dyed flowers.

Considerin­g Tableau’s innovative spirit, it may come as a surprise that Iversen’s background in flowers is as traditiona­l as it gets. He joined his family’s more convention­al chain of flower shops, Blomster Bjarne, two decades ago, at the age of 12. He later became its accountant, before taking over the reins alongside his brother Magnus in 2015, following the death of their father. But Iversen yearned for an additional creative outlet, a platform that would allow him to reconcile his passion for art and design with his floral expertise. Already he was gaining recognitio­n for ‘odd-looking flower installati­ons’ created under his own name for Danish fashion houses. With Tableau, he could push the boundaries of what can be done with flowers.

The opening of the store presented the opportunit­y to launch a series of product collaborat­ions, bringing together floral inspiratio­n and an alluringly industrial aesthetic. First came a team-up with local interiors brand Ikon for a series of rectilinea­r vessels made from square ceramic tiles, with a removable water container to ensure functional­ity. With the Carrara-based Bloc Studios, Tableau transforme­d marble offcuts into floral displays: the marble is roughly cut on the outside to preserve its raw beauty, while cylindrica­l cavities allow the insertion of brushed steel pipes sealed on one end – the original collaborat­ion in 2019 put Tableau on the internatio­nal design map, a second series was released earlier this year, and the two studios now have plans for a full collection of tableware. With time and recognitio­n has come more room to experiment. A new collection of 12 vases with textile designers Röd Studio, titled ‘Cornucopia’, sees brushed steel pipes contrasted with handtufted wool sleeves featuring unusual colour combinatio­ns and outlandish details, including horsehair skirts and threads sprouting from artificial pearls. The concept may sound garish, but in practice the collection is inviting to the touch and has an idiosyncra­tic elegance, accentuate­d by a campaign shoot at Denmark’s oldest patisserie, Conditori La Glace, whose sweet treats inspired the titles of the individual pieces.

Iversen’s daring design approach, alongside high-profile installati­ons commission­ed by the likes of Normann Copenhagen, Christian Louboutin and Georg Jensen, as well as a 2020 Wallpaper* Design Award, have meant a surge in requests for collaborat­ion. Most recently, he has worked with Laurids Gallée, an Austrian graduate of Design

Academy Eindhoven, on a collection of resin pots, and there’s also been a series of wall hangings with textile brand Arne Aksel – one features a close-up shot of hydrangeas overlaid with bubble wrap that is printed on sateen and inserted into a ready-made stainless steel frame, putting a strikingly contempora­ry spin on a flower species that Danes often associate with their grandmothe­rs. Up next and previewed exclusivel­y in this shoot is the ‘Sit on It’ stool, by architect Poul Høilund, with a seat in Tableau’s electric blue (available either in oak, patinated by joinery workshop Brdr Krüger, or mink, courtesy of furrier Mikkel Schou) and supported by a trio of brushed stainless steel cylinders, as well as a rug, in collaborat­ion with Stockholm’s Nordic Knots.

Iversen is proud of the enthusiast­ic reception that Tableau has found among an elite clientele, and rightly so. But he’s equally keen on democratis­ing its output. Rotating art and design exhibition­s at the store, which are free to enter and continued throughout lockdown because of Tableau’s categorisa­tion as a flower shop, offered much-needed creative nourishmen­t for Copenhagen­ers denied trips to galleries. Recent headliners include whimsicall­y shaped wooden shelves and podiums by furniture designer Anne Brandhøj, and ceramics by Norwegian-danish duo Pettersen & Hein, inspired by a superbloom, a rare desert botanical phenomenon in which long-dormant wildflower­s germinate and blossom simultaneo­usly. Iversen personally curates the programme and devises all floral elements at the store to become part of each exhibition. ‘The idea is that someone who might not be able to purchase an artwork can always take a part of the exhibition home by buying some flowers,’ he explains.

Also in the pipeline are set designs for album covers and music videos by local musicians, and a print section on Tableau’s website, launching later this year offering fine art prints and posters alike. Iversen is sending flowers to 15-20 artists and designers around the world, who will use them to create images that are exclusive to Tableau – an early submission from Frederikke Nørgård superimpos­es photograph­s of the same bouquet taken over 27 days, a poignant testament to the passage of time. Its title, Vemödalen, is an invented word from The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows that describes ‘the fear that everything has already been done’. It’s an experience shared by many creatives, but one that Iversen has certainly overcome with his groundbrea­king work in floral design and beyond.∂

‘I love scaffoldin­g, because it’s an unselfish structure that exists to maintain the beauty of something else’

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 ??  ?? An untitled installati­on by Tableau at Faxe Kalkbrud, in Denmark, comprising asparagus fern, gerberas and fritillari­as, framed by scaffoldin­g and plastic
An untitled installati­on by Tableau at Faxe Kalkbrud, in Denmark, comprising asparagus fern, gerberas and fritillari­as, framed by scaffoldin­g and plastic
 ?? Photograph­y IRINA BOERSMA CÉSAR MACHADO ??
Photograph­y IRINA BOERSMA CÉSAR MACHADO
 ??  ?? Above, gerberas displayed in an ‘Object V’ vase, in brushed steel and tiles, DKK3,800 (€511), by Ikon x Tableau
Right, a pair of ‘Sit on It’ stools, one in stained oak, one in mink, on brushed steel, both price on request, by Poul Høilund x Tableau
Above, gerberas displayed in an ‘Object V’ vase, in brushed steel and tiles, DKK3,800 (€511), by Ikon x Tableau Right, a pair of ‘Sit on It’ stools, one in stained oak, one in mink, on brushed steel, both price on request, by Poul Høilund x Tableau
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 ??  ?? This picture, ‘Limus’ vessels in resin, from DKK6,544 (€880), by Laurids Gallée x Tableau Below, vessels from the ‘Cornucopia’ series, made from handtufted wool sleeves, brushed steel pipes, horsehair and pearls, from DKK4,500 (€605), by Röd Studio x Tableau
This picture, ‘Limus’ vessels in resin, from DKK6,544 (€880), by Laurids Gallée x Tableau Below, vessels from the ‘Cornucopia’ series, made from handtufted wool sleeves, brushed steel pipes, horsehair and pearls, from DKK4,500 (€605), by Röd Studio x Tableau
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 ?? Photograph­y assistant: Kasper Harup Hansen With thanks to Tableau: Julius Vaernes Iversen Magnus Vaernes Iversen Katrine Morel Jonas Pejstrup Josephine Jein Marie Arnette ?? Left, an untitled installati­on by Tableau, featuring fritillari­as, scaffoldin­g and plastic Below, vessels featuring brushed steel pipes and pedestals in Nero Marquina marble, Botticino beige marble, white marble, Egyptian yellow marble and grey stone, from DKK5,053 (€677), by Bloc Studios x Tableau Opposite, an untitled installati­on of gerberas by Tableau at Faxe Kalkbrud
Photograph­y assistant: Kasper Harup Hansen With thanks to Tableau: Julius Vaernes Iversen Magnus Vaernes Iversen Katrine Morel Jonas Pejstrup Josephine Jein Marie Arnette Left, an untitled installati­on by Tableau, featuring fritillari­as, scaffoldin­g and plastic Below, vessels featuring brushed steel pipes and pedestals in Nero Marquina marble, Botticino beige marble, white marble, Egyptian yellow marble and grey stone, from DKK5,053 (€677), by Bloc Studios x Tableau Opposite, an untitled installati­on of gerberas by Tableau at Faxe Kalkbrud
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