The hotel at Nybrokajen 9 has a long history of late nights and early mornings. In the early twentieth century one could run into movie stars like Greta Garbo or Ingrid Bergman in the bar there, and in the late sixties it was home to Sweden’s first international nightclub, Alexandra’s. Today, over a hundred years after it first opened, the hotel has a newly tailored suit and is once again ready to dance.
The Radisson Collection Strand Hotel, located on Blasieholmen in Stockholm, was designed by the architect Ludwig Peterson in preparation for the 1912 Olympic Games. Since then the building has lived a long and eventful life. In the 1930s the block was renovated and the hotel was given a more modern addition known as the Annex.
Two years ago the renovation of Strand Hotel began. Step by step, the 170 guest rooms, suites, lobby, restaurant, and bar have now been given a new wardrobe. Wingårdh has designed all of the interiors (except for the guest rooms in the Annex) and, with the building’s illustrious history in mind, developed a new concept that focuses on functionality and sustainability.
In order to always strike a balance between nightly adventure and daytime business, Wingårdh Architects has worked to create a variety of different kinds of space. Lobby, restaurant, bar, and café have been integrated to form a contiguous social space that is active and functional at all hours—the lightness of the bar, the generous ceiling height and hanging light installation of the atrium, and the soft banquettes and welcoming atmosphere of the restaurant. In connection with the renovation, the building’s circulation pattern has been improved and the hotel given a new side entrance that leads directly into the newly opened little bar.
“In order to link together the buildings and spaces,” says Wingårdh’s designer Leila Atlassi, “we wanted to find a color that could serve as a common thread running throughout the entire hotel—a tone that would feel right late at night and yet be bright enough for a breakfast conversation. We decided upon the gray tone you see in the gray-rendered walls of the restaurant, for example, and in the painted walls of the guest rooms.”
The hotel has a background palette of natural materials and gray, to which the designers have chosen to add intense hues of blue, red, yellow, and green—colors inspired by the view from the embankment. In the lobby and conference areas that are housed in the Annex, they chose wood as the primary material in order to reinforce the character of the existing building. The floors throughout are wood, and the conference rooms have walls lined with walnut.
In the hotel’s guest rooms, almost all of the interior is custom designed, including headboards, tables, television cabinets, closets, and minibar. At the same time, every effort has been made to reuse what was already there.
“When we renovated the guest rooms, we made great use of what we found on site,” says Atlassi. “We kept the old doors and some of the existing floors, and just fixed them up. We wanted to take advantage of the valuable things that were here already to create a wonderful, cozy place for the guest. We have excluded white and blonde tones and chosen instead to work with darker wood species like oak and walnut. The only white things in the rooms are around the windows, where we wanted to enhance the beautiful divided-lite windows and focus attention on the views of Strandvägenand the waters of Nybroviken.”