Wood for life, by Dinesen

December 2016

The family business that started 117 years ago as a modest sawmill in a small Danish town called Jels, has since developed into an internationally acclaimed wood manufacturer. Furthermore, Dinesen closed 2016 with a bang, furnishing the new London Design Museum with 2,700 m2 of Dinesen Oak planks, adding to the architectural experience of the John Pawson-designed building. “No two Dinesen floors are alike. Wood is a living material; we aim to deliver harmonious floors in which the personality of the tree is preserved”, states Marketing Director Marianne Winther. 

The Dinesen family business is currently run by the fourth generation. Since the very beginning, it has been driven by a passion for wood and a respect for nature. “The first owner needed wood – when he couldn’t find the quality he wanted, he decided to start his own sawmill, that was back in 1898. For a long time, the company made everything in wood, from spoons to tables. It’s only recently, since Heidi and Thomas Dinesen decided to focus on the production of floors, that the company started to play on an international level. Dinesen works with architects and designers all over the world and has been delivering bespoke planks to castles, palaces, manor houses, churches, and private homes. “We work closely with our clients and try to find customised solutions.” For Dinesen, dialogue and a truly reciprocal relationship with clients is crucial. “We offer our expertise and knowhow and want the client to fully embrace the product and to feel lifelong passion for their floor”

For the London Design Museum, British architect John Pawson, with whom the company has been collaborating for about 25 years, requested that Dinesen use oak. “The idea was to create a simple and clean interior that would radiate calmness and warmth and would give an authentic and natural feeling. Using the wood in the best possible way, this lasts a lifetime”, says Winther, who also emphasises that it’s not Dinesen’s ambition to deliver knot-free floors, as a knot is a trace of a branch and is thus a testimony to the history and vitality of the tree. At Dinesen, they are very aware of the precious value of the material they’re working with. It is often about using very old wood from precious trees – oak, pine, and Douglas fir trees between 80 and 200 years old. “The wood comes from the best forests of Europe. For both forest owners and Dinesen, sustainability is paramount and always has been. And we also make sure there is minimal waste.”

The result is high-end products that can be found in several prestigious places, such as: the Saatchi Gallery in London; several projects by leading kitchen manufacturer bulthaup; the new Vitra Workspace in Weil am Rhein, Germany; projects by Danish furniture company Carl Hansen; this year’s Serpentine Pavilion by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels (BIG), and many more.

all images by Dinesen 

Dinesen Oak trunk
Oak forest
Dinesen Oak production
Dinesen in the old days
The new Design Museum in London, by architect John Pawson
Dinensen Oak wood interior of the Design Museum in London
Detail of the Dinensen Oak wood interior of the Design Museum in London
detail of the Dinensen Oak wood interior of the Design Museum in London