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New Hotel: Bergen’s historic stock exchange reopens

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‘True luxury is always modest,’ muses Eero Koivisto, one of the Swedish architect and design trio Claesson Koivisto Rune. The firm have recently completed work on Bergen Børs, their third hotel project for hyperlocal Norwegian hospitality group De Bergenske inside a year.

The 127-bedroom hotel – with its timeless, neutral interiors, immaculate custom furnishings, and subtle nods to a grand and prestigious history – certainly lives up to this philosophy.

The firm have recently completed work on Bergen Børs, their third hotel project for hyperlocal Norwegian hospitality group De Bergenske inside a year
But there’s nothing modest about its location. Occupying the upper floors of what was once the city’s stock exchange, Bergen Børs occupies a prime position in the Bergen streetscape. A few moments’ stroll from the station, beside Bergen’s main square Torgallmenningen, and overlooking Bryggen – the picturesque and oft-Instagrammed row of harbourside Hanseatic buildings recognised as a Unesco World Heritage site – there’s no better address in town.

Today, the sight of those elegant warehouses on the wharf is a reminder of Bergen’s historical status as Northern Europe’s international trading capital. Opposite, Bergen Børs stands as another memento of the city’s glory days of trade. Built in 1862 and redeveloped in the 1890s, the stock exchange (børshuset) building is, from the outside, an imposing neo-Renaissance affair in red clay tile and soapstone – befitting the solemnity and significance of the transactions once conducted within.
The firm have recently completed work on Bergen Børs, their third hotel project for hyperlocal Norwegian hospitality group De Bergenske inside a year

Tailoring History
The challenge facing the architect was twofold: preserving the vestiges of the past without turning the hotel into a museum piece; and finding a way to unite the old stock exchange building with the two others that Bergen Børs stretches across. Each of these buildings – both former financial offices – originates from a different period, meaning that although parts of Bergen Børs date back the mid-19th century, other parts were built as recently as 1967.

The firm have recently completed work on Bergen Børs, their third hotel project for hyperlocal Norwegian hospitality group De Bergenske inside a year‘Bergen Børs is a luxury hotel situated in three different buildings, from three different eras. We wanted the new hotel to have a unified look and feel. For the guest, it had to feel seamless, therefore our design has a certain neutral modernity attached to it.’

– Eero Koivisto, architect, Claesson Koivisto Rune

To achieve an air of beyond-trend elegance, Eero and his colleagues landed on the theme of tailoring – they were, after all, effectively stitching three buildings together. But this is more than a metaphor, the patterns of the classic gent’s suit are subtly woven into the interiors. In the bedrooms, pinstripes running down the wallpaper and drapes; herringbone parquet and grid-pattern carpets adorn the floors; chequered and argyle tiles appear in the bathrooms; and houndstooth upholstery covers the lounge furniture. You might never notice it if you weren’t looking closely, but Bergen Børs is a tailor’s swatch book brought to life.

The firm have recently completed work on Bergen Børs, their third hotel project for hyperlocal Norwegian hospitality group De Bergenske inside a yearBergen Børs’ calming palette and subtle patterning is occasionally interrupted by a pop of colour or a graphic accent – a similar effect to an eccentrically bold pocket square in an otherwise sober suit. Other flourishes of character are found in the original features – decorative remnants of the hotel’s former life have been salvaged and interwoven throughout the space. The soundproofed doors that once guarded confidential conversations from eavesdroppers now open into one bedroom’s ensuite; and the former stock exchange manager’s office, complete with a heavily protected safe, now offers respite and privacy to whichever hotel guest is lucky enough to be handed the key.

The firm have recently completed work on Bergen Børs, their third hotel project for hyperlocal Norwegian hospitality group De Bergenske inside a yearThe effect serves to unify the three buildings into one integrated whole. Apart from the occasional change in ceiling height as you stroll its corridors, you’d never realise you were stepping between buildings and across decades. Bergen Børs is the tailor-made hotel where you can’t see the seams.

Food and drink
What used to be the Chamber of Commerce is now the hotel bar – a clubbily relaxed wood-panelled room where guests can sip cocktails or sample fine wines and craft beers at the marble bar, as the light from the vintage chandelier plays on the mirrored walls. Next door, the light and airy signature restaurant BARE transforms fine seasonal ingredients sourced in Bergen’s neighbouring fjord regions into authentic but adventurous Nordic dishes – all served up with an impressive harbour view.

Around the hotel
Whether guests are here for business or leisure, Bergen Børs puts the best of Bergen on their doorstep. De Bergenske’s claim that their newest opening is the city’s ‘most central hotel’ is impossible to refute. The railway is in walking distance, the airport bus stops just outside, and the harbour terminal opposite is the gateway to fjord-land adventures. Turn right, and the Fløibanen funicular, whisking guests up to the panorama-endowed peak of Mt Fløyen, is just up the street. Turn left, and you’re on boutique-lined Torgallmenningen, with the KODE art museums and a wealth of cafés, restaurants and green space a five-minute walk beyond.

www.bergenbors.no

Zander K in Bergen, Norway

Case Study: Zander K in Bergen, Norway

800 528 Daniel Fountain

Paris is for lovers, New York never sleeps, and in Bergen it rains. Every city has its stereotypes – some less flattering than others.

The citizens of Bergen, on Norway’s west coast, are saddled with a reputation for enduring 266 days of rainfall a year – the price they pay for their spectacular mountain backdrop, verdant woodland surrounds, and picture-perfect ocean horizon. But the Bergensers don’t mind. When it rains, they grab an umbrella and make the most of it.

That’s certainly the case at Zander K – the newly opened addition to the De Bergenske family of five hotels in central Bergen. Here, rain is an integral part of the hotel’s design scheme, wittily featured in playful storm-cloud artworks by Swedish illustrator Jesper Waldersten and postcards featuring nuggets of watery wisdom such as: ‘Some people walk in the rain. Others just get wet.’ Even the curtains in the bedrooms are wittily patterned with raindrops so that, even when the sun’s out (which happens much more frequently than people think), you can pull across the semi-transparent curtain and make it rain again.

Zander K in Bergen, NorwayWe wanted the hotel to feel like Bergen: friendly, modern and somewhat modest in scale. The hotel is located in three visually different but, in reality, fully connected buildings. More or less only the façades of the old buildings were kept, with two new extra floors discreetly added on top; most of the interior is newly built. But instead of making it look like one big building, we opted for visually downscaling it into three smaller volumes to suit the Bergen streetscape. We really like the fact that the hotel appears much smaller than it actually is. It’s the opposite of most new hotels.’ – Eero Koivisto, Architect, Claesson Koivisto Rune

Zander K in Bergen, NorwayLobby
The hub of the hotel is the lobby area – separated from the street by a green glass windcatcher (a distinctive feature of many Scandinavian hotels). This expansive, airy and fluidly multifunctional space leads into a congenial lounge and reception area on one side, and the easygoing Matbar restaurant on the other, with a zinc-topped bar in between. With an abundance of tactile raw materials – solid wood, concrete, polished marble and velvet – irregularly positioned pillars, a dark green ceiling and a leaf pattern spread across the tiled floor, the experience is rather like entering a modernist vision of a forest – appropriate, given Bergen’s lush woodland surroundings. The hotel’s connection to the natural world and the Norwegian landscape also comes across in Zander K’s wider interior palette – a soothing canvas of blues, whites and greys set alongside locally sourced wood and stone, creating both a feeling of calm and an authentic sense of place.

Restaurant
The Matbar (which translates, simply enough, as ’food bar’) is another aspect of Zander K that makes the most of the Bergen rain. Being so well watered, natural produce thrives in these parts, so the menu provides a seasonal showcase of the region’s finest. Chairs and tables – like most of the hotel’s furniture – have been custom-designed by Claesson Koivisto Rune. Their two-tone tabletops present uneven contrasts of light and dark woods – as do the Thonet chairs, cross-assembled from different batches to create playful juxtapositions of natural materials.

Bedrooms
The five floors above the lobby house the 249 bedrooms, linked by dark blue corridors that reference the colour of the hotel’s façade. Fresh, functional and bright, thanks to large windows and intelligently positioned mirrors, each room is a masterclass in contemporary comfort, with a touch industrial chic, courtesy of Claesson Koivisto Run’s bespoke features and furniture, including mirror-finished stainless steel desks, softened with rounded edges; gridlined wallpaper; pebble-grey and ‘Bergen blue’ upholstery textiles; and two-tone bedside tables (a design affectionately named ‘The Zander’) that echo the tables in the restaurant.

Today, Villa Terminus offers guests a finely balanced fusion of Bergen’s history, Norwegian culture and iconic mid-century and modern-day design

Villa Terminus – A design hotel built for Bergen

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While Oslo hogs the international attention, Bergen sits pretty on Norway’s southwestern coast, quietly getting on with being the country’s picturesque hub of design, music and creative culture.

A hodgepodge of rainbow-toned wooden houses climbing up the mountainside from the sea, the city has historically been the gateway to the fjords and fairytales of the Nordic north – visited by a combination of in-the-know city-breakers and the summertime cruise-ship contingent. But Bergen is a changing city – and Villa Terminus is both a symbol of and a force behind its evolution.

With only 18 bedrooms, Villa Terminus is the smallest hotel in the hyper-local hotel group De Bergenske, a family-run collection of five remarkable – and remarkably different – historic properties all in the heart of the city, each one appealing to the tastes of a different type of traveller. Grand Hotel Terminus provides the classic grand Continental hotel experience and Augustin offers a relaxed, familial atmosphere. The soon-to-open Zander K and Bergen Børs promise ultra-modern Nordic and fashion-forward elegance respectively; but boutique-style Villa Terminus is unique in pairing a home-from-home atmosphere with a lesson in Nordic design flair.

Built in the 18th century as a residential home for the destitute, the villa has been freshly refurbished and sensitively rejuvenated by renowned Swedish architecture and design firm Claesson Koivisto Rune. Today, Villa Terminus offers guests a finely balanced fusion of Bergen’s history, Norwegian culture and iconic mid-century and modern-day design.

Tasked with creating interiors that balanced a warm welcoming atmosphere with a note of intrigue, Claesson Koivisto Rune looked to the domestic paintings of 19th-century Danish artist Vilhelm Hammershøi, the great interiors artist known for creating works with an ‘air of tranquillity and clear soft light that was quintessentially Scandinavian’, as architect Mårten Claesson puts it. The way sunlight plays upon the chalk-toned bedroom walls, the natural material palette, and the clear appreciation for the crafted and handmade exhibited in the furniture and fittings are all designed to imbue Villa Terminus with the soothingly muted mystery of a Hammershøi oil painting.

With a restrained late-Baroque exterior dating back to the 1760s, and interior features ranging from the 1950s to the present day, the new Villa Terminus seems to exist in several time periods at once. As guests meander through the hotel – passing through an array of restful living areas, a sedate library (filled with works by Norwegian novelists and tomes of Bergenser history), and a genial modern kitchen – they encounter a host of vintage mid-century pieces. Alongside these, the hotel features furniture and objects by some of the most celebrated names in international design today – including Erwan and Ronan Bouroullec, David Chipperfield, Antonio Citterio, Ilse Crawford, Andreas Engesvik, Josef Frank, Sir Kenneth Grange, Konstantin Grcic, Jasper Morrison, Patrick Norguet, Russell Pinch, Samuel Wilkinson, Terence Woodgate and many more.

‘Like all Scandinavian cities, Bergen is throughly modern, but unlike most of them, it has still managed to maintain a small-scale charm. Bergen is – like the rest of the world – becoming more ‘glocal’. More personal, less corporate. Villa Terminus fits this new environment perfectly.’ – Villa Terminus architect Eero Koivisto

The emphasis on design reflects the importance of the discipline to modern-day Bergen. Thanks to the presence of the Bergen Academy of Art & Design, and a huge number of its students settling here to set up their studios after graduation, Norway’s second city has acquired a reputation for being one of its most influential creative hubs in the design arena – with an equally forward-thinking music scene and a rapidly up-and-coming gastronomic reputation. Today’s travellers visit Bergen not just as the entry point into fjordland adventure, but as one of Scandinavia’s most culturally rich, cosmopolitan destinations – that still retains a distinctive small-town cosiness.

villaterminus.no

Radisson Blu, Trysil - Norway

Second Radisson Blu resort for Trysil, Norway

588 372 Daniel Fountain

This December, The Park Inn by Radisson Trysil Mountain Resort will be rebranded to Radisson Blu Mountain Resort & Residences.

With a bigger outdoor arena and new concepts like Super Breakfast and Experience Meetings, Europe’s leading upper-upscale hotel brand is set to enhance the guest experience.

“Our aim is to give our guests the best possible hotel experiences and with Radisson Blu’s well-known service concepts we will do our utmost to give our guests exactly that”, says Pontus Åkesson, General Manager at Radisson Blu Trysil Mountain Resort & Residences.

As of December 2016, the guests can continue to enjoy all the former features of Park Inn by Radisson plus the comforts and signatures of the iconic, stylish and sophisticated, Radisson Blu brand. The resort has 369 rooms and suites, 166 apartments and is located in the middle of the ski-resort Trysil.

“We are excited that we are now able to offer our guests two upper-upscale resorts in Trysil and continue to give our international guests the best possible guest experiences in the area”, commented Tom Flanagan, Area Vice President of Rezidor Hotel Group in the Nordics.

The newly rebranded Radisson Blu Mountain Resort & Residences in Trysil was concerted from a Park Inn by Radisson Hotel during the summer and will be ready to welcome its firsts guests when it opens for the season in December 2016.

Moxy Hotels to open 5 properties in Europe by end of 2016

Moxy Hotels to open 5 properties in key European cities by year-end

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Marriott International announced earlier this week that it plans to open an additional five Moxy Hotels in key European cities in 2016, including Munich, Eschborn and Berlin in Germany, Oslo in Norway and Aberdeen in the UK.

As previously reported by Hotel Designs, in addition to the five European openings there will be two new openings in the United States in Tempe, Arizona in March 2016 and New Orleans in April 2016. The brand expects to offer a portfolio of nearly 150 hotels around the world within the next ten years.

Moxy Hotels to open 5 properties in Europe by end of 2016
Amy McPherson, president and managing director of Marriott International, Europe, said: “This is an exciting and pivotal moment for the Moxy brand as we move into the second phase of development with five new hotel openings this year and nine more expected in 2017. In 2014, Moxy Milan hit the market with a bang, as the first budget-savvy hotel brand to shake up the industry with a fun, stylish, and unexpected hospitality experience.

“We are so pleased to be able to offer this game-changing experience to more travellers in more major cities. This is just the beginning of a sensational journey for Moxy in Europe.”

In partnership with Vastint Hospitality as the owner and developer and franchise partner, Nordic Hospitality, the following Moxy hotels are expected to open by year-end 2016:
Moxy Munich Airport, Germany — 252 rooms – located five minutes from the main terminal — March 2016
Moxy Eschborn, Germany — 176 rooms – located 10 minutes from downtown Frankfurt and 15 minutes from Frankfurt Airport — July 2016
Moxy Berlin Ostbahnhof, Germany — 210 rooms – located in Berlin city centre five minutes walk from Ostbahnhof train station — October 2016
Moxy Oslo Exporama, Norway — 276 rooms – located at the Exporama exhibition and conference centre — November 2016
Moxy Aberdeen Airport, UK — 200 rooms – located seven minutes from the main terminal — December 2016