Modern in character and inspired by the subtle landscapes of Norway, Zander K creates an oasis where discreet details capture your attention.
Zander K, right in the heart of Bergen, blends into the surrounding cityscape, aided by the fact that the two highest of the total six floors are set back. It has 249 rooms, but appears smaller from the outside. Its blue façade has no large intrusive signs, simply one small discreet logo. It’s about creating a feeling of exclusivity, but not necessarily luxury.
“I favour two kinds of hotel. Firstly, the classic luxury hotel where every detail has been scrupulously planned. The type of hotel that is like an elegant grande dame. They never age. The other is a cosy hotel that is not too glitzy. It should feel like home. The challenge with Zander K was to build something brand new that feels genuine and not artificial,” says Eero Koivisto, who, together with a team from architectural partnership Claesson Koivisto Rune, is responsible for the design concept for Zander K. Input interior served as project manager for procurement, deliveries and installation.
The inspiration for Zander K was drawn from the Norwegian landscape, with its green, dark and hushed forests. This is what visitors should feel when they enter the lobby. It should be cosy and pleasant. In order to create architectural order and balance, Claesson Koivisto Rune started with large and small elements from the interior design, to build up the basic look of the hotel.
“When you step inside the building, you enter a world of green. It only takes a few tenths of a second to pass through the green-glass air-door entrance, but this is an intense experience that ushers you straight into the lobby. You are met by asymmetrically-positioned pillars of raw polished concrete that add to the forest feel. In order to orient visitors in the lobby, which opens up to all areas of the hotel, each zone features larger-than-life elements,” says Eero Koivisto.
The first of these to capture the attention is an eight meter long table from Nikari. Behind it is a zinc bar counter. The reception desk of brown marble provides a solid and weighty feel, as does the six meter long marble block hanging on a wall of raw concrete in the dining room. Even the curved-track green curtains that can be pulled across in the restaurant serve as a guiding factor.
“Once the elements are in place, it’s simple for us to select interior furnishings. Functions, materials and colours are already established. We merely take our cue from the existing palette. And if we can’t find what we need we have it specially made,” explains Eero.
Zander K, like many other Claesson Koivisto Rune projects, incorporates a number of interesting but discreet details. For example, there are many design classics to be found, which have been modified to a certain extent, without it being wholly obvious, such as the classic No.18 Thonet chair. To create something unique and interesting, the chairs were assembled using a mix of dark and light wood. A tongue-in-cheek hint at the city’s 280 days of rain per year can also be found in the pattern on the hotel room curtains.
“Compare it to having coffee with a friend. When you’re sitting and chatting and focusing on each other, you don’t take too much notice of your surroundings. However, if your friend is late and you are sitting by yourself waiting – then the surroundings catch your attention and make you think. Nothing loud and glaring, but discreet with a subtle cleverness,” concludes Eero.