Cars

Hybrid design: florist Martin Reinicke

Famed for his fascinatingly complex flower arrangements, the Dane Martin Reinicke has become one of Europe’s most in-demand florists. We spent a working day with him, driving the streets of Copenhagen in the BMW 330e iPerformance.

Photos
Søren Jepsen
By
Benedikt Sarreiter

The sun is slowly rising over Copenhagen. It must have rained overnight. Now, beneath cloudless skies, the city’s cars and a regular stream of cyclists slip quietly along the Vesterbrogade through the remaining puddles. This broad thoroughfare forms Vesterbro’s northern boundary. The former workers’ district is gradually being infiltrated by Copenhagen’s creative scene. Today the streets are lined with bars, fashion stores, boutique restaurants and cafés.

Just around the corner from the Vesterbrogade, florist Martin Reinicke is busy in the cellar of a fin-de-siècle building, tying an arrangement of flowers for display in a glittering chrome vase. A large table occupies the centre of the room. This is where Reinicke assembles the arrangements and bouquets he supplies to restaurants, fashion stores, jewellers and design agencies. On the left of the table stand a dozen vases filled with flowers, twigs, dried wheat sheaves. His selection includes thistles, roses, flowering artichokes and hydrangeas. With a series of rapid, well-rehearsed movements, Reinicke chooses his materials from the vases and begins composing his next arrangement. The way he works reveals something of his style, which injects splashes of vibrant colour into the rather austere beauty of the Nordic flora. Austerity and elegance in one, just like the district where he works. “I try to avoid the well-trodden path. I prefer to remain unpredictable,” he explains.

“I try to avoid the well-trodden path. I prefer to remain unpredictable.”

Martin Reinicke

Martin Reinicke in his workshop: the Dane often features in international fashion magazine articles on the renaissance of flower design.

The artistry of his seemingly casual yet detailed and complex flower arrangements is often the subject of features in international fashion magazines on the renaissance of flower design. As one of Europe’s most sought-after florists, Martin Reinicke is in demand. Today, as almost every day, he was at the flower market at 7 am to buy the materials he needs for his new creations. Then it was time for a coffee at Granola, the café next door to his own store Blomsterskuret, which we will return to later. After putting the finishing touches to the final arrangement in his workshop, he is ready to set out on his rounds.

Clean air and intelligent foresight

Martin Reinicke stows several of his arrangements in the spacious boot of the BMW 330e iPerformance parked outside the workshop. When he starts the car, the navigation device displays the route to the first destination of the day – the flagship store of the world-famous Royal Copenhagen porcelain factory. The smart Proactive Driving Assistant in the BMW 330e iPerformance analyses the most efficient driving modes for the route ahead, and the vehicle sets off in pure electric mode – perfect for urban journeys. As Reinicke touches the accelerator, the BMW responds immediately and moves off in virtual silence. “I love the subtle sound of the electric drive. I hope we will soon be hearing a lot more of it in our towns and cities. It would be good for the air – and ultimately for all of us.” We head into Copenhagen’s city centre, past the SAS Radisson Hotel, the world’s first boutique hotel, designed from top to bottom by Danish designer Arne Jacobsen and opened in 1960; past the Tivoli Gardens, the city’s famous downtown amusement park; and past hundreds of cyclists, who have priority everywhere in Copenhagen.

As if plucked from a hedgerow yet assembled with great attention to detail: Martin Reinicke’s creations are known for their casual elegance.

Housed in an art deco building beside Copenhagen’s inner harbour is The Standard, a restaurant hailed as a temple to fine dining. With his floral creations, Reinicke seeks to add vibrancy to the typically discreet Nordic design.

Housed in an art deco building beside Copenhagen’s inner harbour is The Standard, a restaurant hailed as a temple to fine dining. With his floral creations, Reinicke seeks to add vibrancy to the typically discreet Nordic design.

The entrance area at the Royal Copenhagen Store displays hand-painted plates, cups and bowls in the traditional Musselmalet design: ultramarine patterns of daisy-like flowers, buds and stems on porcelain. Introduced in 1775, it is a classic Royal Copenhagen design, the first created by the company. Martin Reinicke switches the flower arrangements on the table. His new ones are a composition of wild flowers and dried ears of corn. He has been responsible for selecting the floral displays at the Royal Copenhagen Store for three years. He tweaks the flowers and dried ears of corn into shape: “It is such a privilege to be able to work with flowers,” he says. “I was instantly captivated by their beauty – now I can’t let go.”

An explosion of shapes and colours

As a 23-year-old, Reinicke took over a flower shop without any experience of the florist’s art. Today his business is very highly regarded. It bears the name Blomsterskuret and, like his workshop, is situated in the Vesterbro district. His clients include actors, artists, designers and locals. “My customers are very picky, they don’t want the usual boring arrangements made up of roses and a few bits of greenery,” explains Reinicke. “They want an element of surprise. Most of them want individual arrangements, composed with great attention to detail and yet looking somehow like they were picked from the hedgerow.” He presses the start button on the BMW 330e iPerformance and sets off back to his shop. This time we drive using a combination of electric motor and petrol drive. The battery status is low, so the internal combustion engine helps to recharge the battery through braking and deceleration. Reinicke takes a rest stop at one of the 125 charging stations dotted all over Copenhagen, which are pinpointed on the navigation device of the BMW 330e iPerformance.

A short while later, he parks up outside a low-rise black building with a glass roof. Here his staff are busy carrying flowers in every shade imaginable. Blomsterskuret resembles an Impressionist painting: an explosion of shapes and colours. Before lunch, Reinicke quickly takes a vase of flowers across the street to one of the neighbourhood’s elegant take-away restaurants. “Traditional delivery by hand,” he says.

A lasting impact

After lunch, he returns to the wheel of the BMW 330e iPerformance. It’s time for the last delivery of the day. He weaves a route across Copenhagen, the vehicle gliding noiselessly through the traffic before stopping at an elongated, single-storey, turquoise art deco building down by the inner harbour. The Standard is one of Copenhagen’s gourmet hotspots. Founded by gastronomic guru Claus Meyer, The Standard is just a stone’s throw from another of Meyer’s creations, Noma, which for several years in succession critics have voted one of the world’s finest restaurants. The Standard houses three restaurants serving Nordic and Indian cuisine, as well as an in-house jazz club for celebrating in style. Reinicke disappears into a side entrance.

His arrangements decorate every room in The Standard. “Each one has to be different in mood,” he says, “but all my creations have one thing in common: I like to add some vibrancy to the discreet Nordic design of the guest rooms.” In this way he creates a hybrid, combines elements that are in essence mutually exclusive. For a Michelin-starred restaurant like Studio, where nothing can be too much and every detail is carefully thought out, his creations inject a wild and uninhibited quality – an unconventional combo designed to generate a specific impact. A little like the electric motor and combustion engine which power the BMW 330e iPerformance. At the end of a long day, Martin Reinicke sinks back into the driving seat. “Let’s go!” he says, and the BMW accelerates homewards – with the efficient power transmission for which electric vehicles are renowned.

Efficient rest stop: Martin Reinicke takes a break at one of the 125 charging stations dotted around Copenhagen. Their locations are pinpointed on the navigation device of the BMW 330e iPerformance.

Model facts

BMW 330e iPerformance

Displacement cc
cylinders

1998
4

System output
kW (hp)


135 (184)

Electric motor: output in kW

65

Power consumption
kWh/100 km combined


11,9 - 11,0

Fuel consumption (EU)
l/100 km combined, max.


2,1 - 1,9

CO2 emissions
g/km combined


49,0 - 44,0

Acceleration
0-100 km/h in s


6,1

Top speed all-electric mode

120

Electric range
in km

39

09/26/2016