Designing Moxy Tromsø around mountains and the Northern Lights

Moxy Tromsø was designed to encourage guests to look up and out – towards Norwegian mountains and fjords. Editor Hamish Kilburn explored the hotel’s immersive hospitality vibes on the latest episode of Travel By Design, a podcast brought to you by Marriott Bonvoy Traveler, when he spoke with the hotel’s interior designer, Mette Fredskild…

Moxy Tromso with mountains in the background

Known globally as one of the best places to see and experience the Northern Lights, Tromsø puts nature first. For interior designer Mette Fredskild – who, since childhood, has spent her downtime exploring mountains – being appointed as lead interior designer to create Moxy Tromsø was an opportunity to blend together Norwegian culture with Moxy’s vibe. The result is a hotel that, so effortlessly, embraces mother nature with a single vista.

On the podcast, Travel By Design, by Marriott Bonvoy Traveler, I spoke with Fredskild to understand exactly how she and her team achieved creating a naturally contemporary interior design scheme, which started with one photo taken from a drone. I also wanted to know how she used personalised lighting to enhance a spectacular vantage point for those lucky enough to see the Northern Lights.

“When we start to plan this hotel, we got a drone up to the height of the 11th floor,” the designer told me on the podcast. “We got some pictures taken, and then there was just no doubt that this view should be for everybody.” It was at this point in the design of Moxy Tromsø when Fredskild suggested to flip the hotel on upside-down so that the lobby and lounge then sat on the 11th floor. She added: “And when the elevator doors open, in front of you, you will see, like, a big fire stove chimney with the amazing view of the mountain.”

Exterior image of Moxy Tromso, in between natural vistas and fjrods and mountains

Image credit: Marriott International

During our conversation, Fredskild gave reference to the ‘hierarchy of design’, which, in the case of Moxy Tromsø, meant to put nature first. To magnify the view in a way that was subliminally received by its guests, Fredskild decided to ‘go dark’ in the interior design scheme. “Because of these big windows, everything is so bright in front of you, so by doing the interior a bit darker, you respect the hierarchy of the experience,” she said. “[It’s another reminder] that nature is just the biggest thing there.”

Moxy Tromso views over fjords and mountains

Image credit: Marriott International

For any traveller visiting Tromsø, the possibility of seeing the Northern Lights is never far away. While this natural phenomenon is never guaranteed, it was a significant focus point of the design narrative. “So we also thought it was interesting to work with the Northern Lights as a theme in our lighting concept, she said. “So we have one long big [snake-like] lighting rod [running] through the whole lobby which actually imitate, a little, bit the Northern Lights.” Fredskild explained that when the Northern Lights appear, the hotel dims the lighting so that guests can vividly capture the Northern Lights.

> Since you’re here, why not listen to Hamish Kilburn’s podcast episode with David Rockwell?

The full 12-minute interview between Mette Fredskild and Editor Hamish Kilburn is available listen to on Travel By Design, wherever your get your podcasts from. 

Main image credit: Marriott International