In late May, as daylight was inching towards midnight sun levels, the new Nordic Light Hotel in Stockholm was re-opened after extensive renovations. The new concept is a contemporary interpretation of Nordic design by Bergen-based architect Todd Saunders – yes, that Canadian ex-pat of Fogo Island Inn fame.
Saunders had overall responsibility for the new architecture and design, in particular the hotel lobby, restaurant and dining bar. It is here that his distinctively Canadian-inflected modern aesthetics is reflected the clearest, through material choices like pale ash wood panelling throughout the lobby and restaurant, accented by white marble and a palette of calm, gentle natural tones.
Elegant and monochromatic, the monumentality of the interior public spaces are balanced by an aesthetic as clean as the Nordic cuisine on the menu at Lykke & Löjromsbaren, the hotel’s new dining bar, built around in-season ingredients such as vegetable primers in the spring, mushrooms, crayfish and lobster in the fall and slow cooked and fermented dishes in the winter.
The hotel rooms, designed by Toronto-based John Tong of +tongtong, are a distinct counterpoint to the hotel’s location in Stockholm’s business district, close to the central station and fronting a noisy, busy street, and it is in the 159 rooms and 10 suites that the hotel’s name bears its fullest expression. “The inspiration for the design of the rooms was very much influenced by the beauty of the Nordic landscape and how light interacts with form. We wanted the experience to be calming yet poetic, believing that while one travels, one’s senses are heightened and most often extenuated and needing silence and a place to rejuvenate,” said Tong. “Design elements do not hammer you over the head demanding your attention.”
While Canadian talent abounds, several Nordic designers were selected by project partner Studio Markus Bergström to develop a line of customized furniture that continues the contemporary interpretation of Nordic design for the hotel’s community areas, and included designers such us Jenny Nordberg, Amanda Karsberg and Johannes Norlander.
“Designing Nordic Light was all about using natural, locally sourced materials to create a unique design. The result is a space that celebrates traditional Scandinavian design through a distinctive, modern vernacular,” said Saunders.
Photography by Bent René Synnevåg