Bergman Interiors has revealed renderings of a new 7-star hotel project in the Norwegian islands, which will offer uninterrupted views of the Northern Lights thanks to its remote location.

To conceive the interiors for its original concept presentations, the studio used elegant yet functional materials sourced from Norway and the architectural design of the hotel as part of its canvas. The overriding mantras of the design process were to create spaces that were bold and memorable yet warm and ambient, all while giving a sense of place. According to Bergman Interiors, the client expressed great pride in his heritage, and so the firm set out to express this through the use of natural textures and material finishes, but also by carrying out extensive research into traditional craftsmanship’s from costume design to long boat design, ancient social history and ancient folklore stories.

“We immersed ourselves into history and then snapped back into the 21st century; adapting, reinventing and applying some of the many influences with clever detailing, layering of materials or simply being influenced by the seasonal changing colours found in nature,” says Kirstin King, Design Director at Bergman Interiors. “Our intention was to create an unforgettable experience by designing a guest-driven brand identity, connecting and engaging with the surroundings. The aim was to create elegant interiors with a simplicity in design that celebrates and maximises the views, bringing the outside in through the use of local materials and textures.”

The Spa

In designing the spa (seen above), the studio presented three different concepts, inspired by either the Norwegian landscape or culture. Though its contemporary take and re-interpretation of Viking Longboats came a close second, the client chose the ‘Glacier’ concept, which draws strong reference from the movement and flow of the natural phenomena, celebrating its smooth, curvilinear forms.

The soft flow of water is re-interpreted as an artistic and functional ceiling installation, which conceals both lighting and ventilation/MEP works, while the poolside relaxation area has a timber floor and hand-carved timber panels, which clad the structural columns and form a colonnade along the length of the pool. The carvings pay homage to the Viking Longboats and ancient stave church carvings.

An inviting ‘glacial’ pool further echoes the distinct colouration of the Fjords, mixed with the meltwaters, while waterspouts and a ‘water curtain’ honour the many waterfalls of the region. The frozen ice with its weathered characteristics is also represented in a feature wall using carved natural stone.

Villa bedroom at a new Norwegian hotel designed by Bergman Interiors

Living room at a new Norwegian hotel designed by Bergman Interiors

Bathroom at a new Norwegian hotel designed by Bergman Interiors

The Villas

Creating a home-from-home experience was highly important to the client too, and so Bergman Interiors developed a base palette for the guestrooms; soft and taken from the shaping of the landscape, combined with hand-crafted furniture to result in a relaxed yet sophisticated residential feel. The interiors also celebrate the refined metal detailing and carvings of ancient Norwegian crafts.

Across the villas, curated art pieces sit in balance within the interior concept; a dichroic glass bar, for instance, hints at the colours of the Aurora Borealis and honours the natural light in this part of the world – literally “Spreading the Light” – while feature lighting doubles as kinetic art. The vision is that the interiors will always offer more than expected, whilst remaining personal and peaceful to each guest.

Elsewhere, evening light floods through floor-to-ceiling glazing that brings out the richness and depth of the bedroom finishes. Handcrafted timber panelling will act as a backdrop to the bed, flanked by alabaster wall lights – inspired by old Norwegian culture representing the ‘Shield of Protection’ – and a discreet open fireplace is framed with exotic stone.

Michelin-star restaurant at a new Norwegian hotel designed by Bergman Interiors

The Restaurant

The main block of the hotel contains both the main reception, a bar and a Michelin-starred restaurant. Maintaining continuity between the various blocks cut into the landscape was critical to Bergman Interiors, who want guests to feel as if they are gliding seamlessly from one site to another, and gain a sense of placement and familiarity wherever they are.

The journey begins and ends in nature. Myths handed down in time tell us that the centre of the Vikings cosmos is the ‘Yggdrasil’ Ash Tree, and that this tree holds the ‘Nine Worlds’ and is the home of gods, man and all spiritual beings. This story gave rise to the reception concept, where guests are greeted with the soft bleached tones of timber from the Ash tree. Hand-crafted metal privacy screens depicting leaves and trees act as a backdrop, while a rug design is influenced by the traditional Norwegian craft of weaving and yarns.

For the bar and lounge area, the studio looked back in time to the Viking communities of a bygone era. Here, they envisioned diners gathering and settling into an interior that exposes the panoramic views of the raw landscape. As such, they have incorporated a central feature fireplace, which will become the hub of the island community, where stories can be exchanged within a setting filled with rich textures in a muted colour palette of soft blues and greens found in the early morning mist that rolls of the sea.

The restaurant, meanwhile, is separated from the main reception by means of custom-designed metal screens honouring the ancient craft of the Norwegian metal work. Here, Bergman Interiors embrace the contemporary architecture that emerges from the rockface and envelopes itself within the interior. A fully glazed sloping wall of glass ensures that guests get to experience the full spectrum on the Northern Lights without any interior glass reflections to distract – aided by the specification of anti-glare light fittings sourced specifically for this purpose.

Rock, leather and spice also influence the concept for a darker, more subdued and moodier interior. An earthy palette, parquet dark timber flooring and brick-laid embossed leather wall panels await diners, who will gaze upon natural leather hides that would be traditionally carved, embossed or woven in colours taken from the red seaweed found on local shores, They will be invited to dine amidst the warm spicy shades of homegrown mustard and caraway seeds, and be seated at the feasting table in true Viking tradition.

Words: Ben Thomas
Renderings: Courtesy of Bergman Interiors