Startling Style in Stockholm: Nobis Hotel

Contrasting Nobis Hotel's rather majestic exterior, which manifests the “stone city” movement that emerged in the Norrmalm and Östermalm districts at the outset of Sweden’s industrial revolution during the second half of the 19th century, the property's interior design is rather stark, simple and stripped down.

Envisioned by architecture and design firm trio, Claesson Koivisto Rune, the property carefully does away with all the frivolity that typifies many luxury properties—guests will find no gold, velvet or plush red carpets here.

“From the beginning, we've been inspired by the appearance of Stockholm, not in the summer when the light is bright and magical, but in the wintertime, when the light is softer with less contrast,” says Ola Rune.

The general impression of the 201-room hotel is decidedly subdued, devoid of theatrics, offering a somber and soothing ambience highlighting contemporary furniture in organic shapes.

Claesson Koivisto Rune created a lobby and lounge that despite their largely monochromatic palette of grays and blacks are also rather residential, offering oversized ottomans, deep-set leather sofas, and a meticulous attention to lighting, which is almost solely comprised of unique floor and desk lamps with the occasional “chandelier” in the shapes of celestial orbs or jellyfish.

Gazing up at the 80-foot ceiling dappled with a modern fresco painting, guests have the sensation of entering a secular cathedral. Visitors will find The Gold Bar situated next door, which, as its name suggests, is perhaps the most dramatic space within the hotel featuring walls of golden mirrors, futuristic chairs both spindly and squat, and a plethora of reflecting lights creating a kaleidoscopic atmosphere.

The rooms and suites were created using natural materials like stone, leather, wood, wool and glass, designed to become more beautiful as they age. While dark colors often make a space seem smaller, the Nobis Suite, a neo-boudoir, features high ceilings creating a sense of space sophistication. “Our idea is about history, culture, and patterns married with contemporary – but pared down – design,” says Eero Koivisto.

“We call it ‘Scandinavian Dark Blond’. It’s a mixture of materials all subdued and varied with no strong colors anywhere and not much matching.”

Ola Rune explained that echoing the importance of light in Sweden itself, light also plays a huge role in the guestrooms, with each space featuring an elaborate lighting design with up to five sources of illumination; this allows guests to alter their atmosphere in accordance to their mood. All rooms also feature courtyard, square or sea views as well as white Carrara marble bathrooms.

“We’ve worked both with and against the buildings in achieving the effects that we want here,” says Koivisto.

Suggested Articles

The former San Rafael Hotel on Uruguay's Punta del Este will become the Cipriani Ocean Resort.

Built by Axis/GFA Architecture + Design, AC Hotel Los Angeles South Bay is part of the hotel and office project at Elevon Campus.

The hotel's new look was inspired by Lake Michigan and the development along the Chicago Riverwalk, visible from guestroom window seats.