It’s been a month since Clarion Hotel and Congress Malmö Live opened in spectacular fashion; when Norwegian hotel tycoon Petter Stordalen powered through the canals of the Swedish city on a jet-ski before crashing head first into concrete stairs in front of 10,000 people. It was a rather inglorious start to an otherwise astounding project.Standing at an impressive 85 metres high, Clarion Hotel & Congress at the Malmö Live mega-complex is the new landmark in Malmö skyline. Made up of three towers and the city’s largest hotel with 444 rooms – the tallest has 25 floors with a skybar and a Tengbom-designed restaurant headed by Scandinavian culinary superstar Marcus Samuelsson.
The hotel forms part of the wider $400 million Malmö Live complex, which offers a world-class concert hall, conference centre and hotel all in one. Covering an entire city block in the heart of the city, the 90,000 m2 concourse comes complete with leafy avenues and waterfront eateries. Architects schmidt hammer lassen designed Malmö Live around the idea of a small city, focusing on open and dynamic layout that offers numerous activities.
The lobby was designed to resemble a street, which runs through the entire ground floor and ties everything together. Like medieval cities, which had curved, narrow streets organized around plazas and squares, the lobby is designed to form small gathering places and recesses where visitors can stop, sit and enjoy the view of the canal and the park.
The hotel’s interior is simple, consisting of rough black concrete, stone, wood and brass. The street life outside is drawn directly inside to support the open nature of the building. The designers renamed their gigantic 1,076 square-foot presidential suite which covers the entire 23rd floor of the Clarion Hotel Malmö Live, with the ‘Zlatan Ibrahimovic Suite’, further immortalising the striker in his hometown where he was born and started his career.
“There is only one president in Malmö, and it’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic”, said hotel sales manager Lotta Pieplow to the local newspaper Sydsvenskan after getting the approval for the suite from the 33-year-old striker. The Paris Saint-Germain front man is one of the most popular figures in Swedish sporting history. The suite will feature floor-to-ceiling views of the local harbour in Malmö and have a Nordic design mixing modern tech and ancient aristocracy with pictures of Ibrahimovic on the walls, including an iconic 120 by 80 centimeter photo by Eric Broms. One night in the Ibra-shrine will set you back around a thousand dollars a night.
Nordic Choice group founder Petter Stordalen is a passionate collector of contemporary art and some sources value his collection at more than $50 million. It figures, then, that the new Clarion has its own art collection valued at $2 million as well as its own art curator – Sune Nordgren, former director of Norway’s National Museum of Art. He has worked with Stordalen for several years, making sure all of the art at his hotels is world class.