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Exotic Wood Flooring is Aplenty at Copenhagen Airport

photo of Copenhagen cafe
Jatoba, merbau and padauk from Southeast Asia are on full display at Copenhagen Airport in Denmark. (Photos courtesy of Copenhagen Airport)


photo of Copenhagen cafe

The waiting, the frustration, the bland mass-produced interiors. It's for good reason airports are somewhere between the carpet store and dentist on the list of places we are most eager to visit. On the other hand, Copenhagen Airport in Denmark should not be lumped in there with, say, O'Hare or LaGuardia. Besides looking great, the Copenhagen Airport's operators are convinced the extra investment in durable hardwood is more economical in the long run than installing linoleum, for example (the airport sees 50,000 visitors a day, or roughly 18.3 million a year). The oldest wood installations in the airport are padauk (pictured in the airport's shopping street in terminal 2) and were installed in the '60s; since then the airport's directors have opted for more-affordable jatoba and merbau. All the exotic material is sourced from Southeast Asia. For added durability, the floors were finished with hardening oil, and caretakers give them regular doses of Junckers conditioning oil. As author and interior design critic Will Wiles puts it, "Airport carpets are a byword for ugliness, but Copenhagen has this really classy dark wooden flooring instead. It's shrewd national branding for a country which has a reputation for superb design."

 

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photo of Copenhagen cafe
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