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Projects & References | April Coffee, Seoul

The Opening of April Coffee in Seoul: A Talk with Founder Patrik Rolf

April Coffee is setting a new standard for specialty coffee shops with the opening of their newest venue in Seoul. Just like April Coffee's showroom and coffee shop in Copenhagen, the entire space in Seoul is decorated with furniture from the Finn Juhl collection. The interior has been carried out by the architects from The First Penguin in collaboration with House of Finn Juhl Seoul. Dive into the reasoning and story behind the newest step in April Coffee's journey with founder Patrik Rolf.

Photo credit: Hong Gyeong
Photo credit: Hong Gyeong
Patrik Rolf, founder of April Coffee

After a couple of successful years in Copenhagen, Patrik Rolf decided to set sails for another venue for April Coffee. This time on the other side of the world in Seoul, South Korea.

“It's a city I have traveled to several times. I have always had a fascination for Asia and the city of Seoul has been on a very interesting journey for the last few years. The city is modern, but with great respect for tradition and quality, and with an eagerness to improve that resonates with Copenhagen. After deciding on the city, the final puzzle was to find a store manager that I was confident could represent us well. And that turned out to be one of the easiest decisions as our first store manager in Copenhagen wanted to move to Seoul.”

“I have always had a fascination for Asia and the city of Seoul has been on a very interesting journey for the last few years. The city is modern, but with great respect for tradition and quality, and with an eagerness to improve that resonates with Copenhagen."
Photo credit: Hong Gyeong
Photo credit: Hong Gyeong
Photo credit: Hong Gyeong
The neighbourhood

New Meets Old

Patrik has a certain appreciation for the neighborhood in which the new April Coffee is located and continues:

"The April Store is located in Hannam-dong which is a neighborhood in Yongsan-gu. It's a contemporary area with many quality-focused shops and restaurants and it is home to one of the most beautiful art exhibitions in the world, The Leeum Museum of Art. I fell in love with the building - built this year - and how it integrates with its surroundings, new meets old."

Photo credit: Hong Gyeong
Common Interests

The Ties Between South Korea & Scandinavia

House of Finn Juhl has had close ties with Korea for years, as the city is the only other place besides Copenhagen, where visitors can find a gallery and shop completely dedicated to Finn Juhl’s furniture. Patrik shares our appreciation for the country, and describes the cultural similarities between Korea and Scandinavia:

“After years of traveling to Seoul, I have learned about the many differences between our two cultures. What brings us together is a common interest in quality and a willingness to look into the future. Apart from that, it's two very different cultures, which is why I think Seoul is so interesting - it's the same but different.”

Photo credit: Hong Gyeong
Photo credit: Hong Gyeong
Photo credit: Hong Gyeong
Photo credit: Hong Gyeong

April Coffee in Copenhagen is furnished only with Finn Juhl’s designs – a minimalistic, yet colorful and carefully curated space. As Patrik explains it, the first April Coffee shop was an interpretation of Copenhagen, and in the same way, the new Seoul venue should represent Seoul both in terms of the design of the space and the chosen furniture:

"I knew we wanted to continue with Finn Juhl, but I was not interested in a "copy-paste" solution. So we looked into Korean culture and trends and decided to go with a simpler expression in terms of colors - wood, grey, white, and black. The centerpiece of the interior is always the Finn Juhl Panel System as we build stores rather than coffee shops. Apart from that, we wanted to take the opportunity to integrate a few more sofas - especially the Wall Sofa, one of my favorite pieces.”

Photo credit: Hong Gyeong
Photo credit: Hong Gyeong
Photo credit: Hong Gyeong
Pieces to discover

Furniture Featured in this Project

A wide selection of Finn Juhl pieces are featured at the new April Coffee shop in Seoul, South Korea. Click through them all below to dive into the history behind the creation of the individual pieces and find inspiring, captivating images along with information about different material options and the sizes available.