The finishing touches are still being added to Stockholm's new Nobis Hotel in preparation for its grand opening on December 1st. Although a brief glance at the photos reveals a handsome, but not immediately arresting space, the story behind the Norbis is one of Swedish subtlety — it's meant to be lasting, not flashy. World renowned Stockholm-based architects Claesson Koivisto Rune designed the Norbis, and they have a lot to say about its quiet dignity.
Ola Rune explains:
- "We're inspired by the appearance of Stockholm, not in the summer when the light is bright and magical, but in the wintertime, when the light is softer and contrasts lower. It then first appears almost monochrome, almost black and white. Only when you look closer that you see the subtle, kind of muffled colors and soft shadows. This is the effect that we want to create in this hotel. The general impression should be calm and relaxing, but then there will be plenty of clever and beautiful details and surprises to discover with time."
The hotel is located on Stockholm's Norrmalmstorg Square, a prime piece of real estate in the city center. The two 19th century buildings that house the space were originally residential properties, and their character has been preserved by the renovation. Crown molding, spiral staircases, and marble floors give the space a sense of old-world luxury, while modern furnishings exhibit an equally high level of craft with an understated aesthetic.
This definitely isn't IKEA. Eero Koivisto says:
- "Contemporary Swedish design is very good and clever, but there's often been something a bit coarse and rough to it. Our ambition is to bring elegance back, in the sense as defined by classic Danish modernist designers such as Kjaerholm, Jacobsen and Wegner, and Finnish Saarinen."
Martin Claesson adds:
- "In the rooms, and in the rest of the hotel, we've worked with the ambition of creating interiors of the kind that you would encounter in a private home, assembled over a longer period of time. It sounds simple, but it's far from easy to achieve this effect in a hotel. It takes a lot of care and effort, for example by carefully selecting products from different manufacturers and designers, instead of many products from one and the same brand which will give that `corporate´ feel that we're trying very hard to avoid."
Claesson Koivisto Rune are a 15-year-old firm who embrace multi-disciplinary work. It seems as if there's nothing too big or too small for them — they do everything from jewelry-making to furniture design to museum architecture. For more of their work, visit their online portfolio.
Photos: Norbis Hotel Press Photos