Helle Mardahl fills Copenhagen apartment with candy-style glass


Danish designer Helle Mardahl has unveiled The Sensory Society, a 3 Days of Design exhibition that takes cues from Wes Anderson‘s film The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Mardahl filled an entire Copenhagen apartment with her colourful glass objects, creating installations that include a playful bar and a grand dressing table.

The Sensory Society by Helle Mardahl
The Sensory Society includes a grand dressing table filled with glass objects

The exhibition showcases new additions to the designer’s glassware range, called the Candy Collection, including hand-blown pendant lamps, characterful wine glasses and Mardahl’s take on “the perfect bowl”.

The aim was to create an exhibition that appeals to all of the senses.

The Sensory Society by Helle Mardahl
Tiered shelves allow hundreds of candy-coloured glass objects to be displayed

“We’ve transformed this old, amazing apartment into a world of imagination, mystique and humour,” Mardahl said.

“Inspired by the amazing Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, I implemented colours from our newest addition to the Candy Collection, such as grapefruit, blue jelly, champagne and spearmint. Absolutely yummy!”

The Sensory Society by Helle Mardahl
Glass pendants are on show in the red-painted lobby

Mardahl first launched her Copenhagen-based studio in 2017, after “falling in love” with glass. Her pieces typically have a candy-like aesthetic, with rich colours and round shapes.

The designs are all hand-made by artisans mostly based in Denmark.

“The process of creating the glass is magical,” said Mardahl.

“It’s hot, it’s sweaty, it’s absolutely perfect. It is truly a love story between the glass and the artisan.”

The Sensory Society by Helle Mardahl
A bar showcases tableware objects at different heights

When you arrive at The Sensory Society, the first room you encounter is a lobby where almost every surface is red, creating a bold backdrop to glass pendants hanging down from the ceiling.

In the bar area, glass tableware objects – including the popular Bon Bon cake stand – are displayed at different heights, while wine glasses are hung around a cylindrical column.

The Sensory Society by Helle Mardahl
Wine glasses take centre stage in a turquoise-painted room

A grand dressing table is finished in pale shades of lilac, pink and blue. It incorporates tiered shelving, supporting hundreds of glass vessels.

There is also a turquoise-coloured room where the new wine glasses take centre stage.

Wine glasses by Helle Mardahl
The glasses form part of a range of tableware objects by Mardahl. Photo is by Amy Frearson

Small details throughout the apartment are also made from glass, including drawer handles and orbs fixed to the sides of the chairs.

“It’s a candy world of flavours and colours, a universe that simulates your senses and feelings,” added Mardahl.

The Sensory Society is on show from 7 to 10 June 2023 as part of 3 Days of DesignFollow live coverage on Dezeen live: 3 Days of Design in Copenhagen, or see Dezeen Events Guide for information about the event, plus a list of other architecture and design events taking place around the world.


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