WAD 2014

WEDNESDAY 30 JULY 2014

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Hotel Skeppsholmen, Stockholm, Sweden 
Friday 29 Apr 2011
 
An urban oasis 
 
Claesson Koivisto Rune 
 
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Award Entry

Claesson Koivisto Rune refurbish two 17th century maritime buildings on an island in central Stockholm. 

On the lush island of Skeppsholmen in the middle of Stockholm city, in a building from 1699 with a colourful historic background, is situated Hotel Skeppsholmen. The aim for Claesson Koivisto Rune was to create an urban oasis in all senses. A quiet and peaceful place, yet in the hub of the Swedish capital.

The starting point of the design process was the word ‘fog', describing a natural and eternal phenomenon of enchanting beauty inspiring to contemplation, as well as relating to the surrounding waters and Hotel Skeppsholmen's marine historical past. From that idea forward, materials, surfaces, furniture, lighting, colours, etc. were chosen to create the hotel environment. A conscious choice of a restricted palette of greys and very light colours - partly inspired by the Swedish Gustavian style - was chosen to connect the hotel with its historical heritage. Yet all the bathrooms, lifts, furniture, and a series of light installations, was executed in a very contemporary way. Furniture and lighting was largely designed by Claesson Koivisto Rune.

Since the buildings are government listed historic buildings, considerations regarding the conditions of the building as well as the original qualities had to be taken. Most changes also need to be reversible in order to return the building into its previous state if that would later be the case. The new bathrooms were designed as boxes behind which the old panels and surfaces are untouched. The uninterrupted view along the 100 metre long hallway was restored. In other respects the buildings' austere and simple design has been preserved in the original details such as stairs, forgings, plaster, bricks, wooden floors etc. The renovation of the building was done in collaboration with Erséus Architects.

The premises of the hotel have a long and colourful history. It was originally built in 1699-1702 with the purpose of housing the Royal Marines of Karl XII. Since Sweden's financial situation of the time was poor, most of the building material came from ruined castles on the countryside. The two buildings - each 100 metres long - known to locals as "The Long Row", was never used for the soldiers as intended, as most of them never made it home from the wars. They were therefore left inhabited until 1710, when the city started using them as a hospice for poor people infected with the plague. Several years later the buildings became offices and storehouses for the Navy, but also housing for military employees. The Martial Court was accommodated here too. In the 1900's most of the space was turned into apartments for Navy staff, mostly officers and their families, and in the 2000's it was once again adapted to be used as administrative offices. In 1935 the buildings became government listed historic buildings, and even if the architect Nicodemus Tessin Jr is most famous for the design of the Royal Castle, this is one out of just two commercial edifices still remaining today.

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Claesson Koivisto Rune
www.claessonkoivistorune.se

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