Diploma Vår 2018

A Small Hotel in Oslo

Viola Ulrika Kristin Svens

Small urban hotel is an interesting architectural typology: it is about a small number of rooms, rooms of different character and size, some spacious, some compact, welcoming the guests, with comfort and a kind of intimacy, with the atmosphere of a second home. In a small hotel, there is a variety of spaces to offer the guests: sitting rooms, library, the garden, a restaurant with good food open to the public, where at occasions many people could eat at a single table, flexible breakfast settings, where guests could choose where they eat in different areas of the hotel, the gym, and sauna. The design of a small hotel is meant to give greater emotional meaning to our surroundings and give our daily reality more depth. 

This is a project for a small urban hotel at the very edge of Sofienberg park in the eastern part of Oslo. The place is characterized by anonymous urban architecture and a forest of high trees that completely dominate the site. The park is a lively meeting place in the summer. I found the urban quality of this remote park edge to be an interesting motive to influence the architecture of my project. My small hotel is a special hotel with only 16 rooms. it includes a variation of private and shared spaces, for relaxation, working, dining, and workout facilities. The restaurant, garden, and roof terrace should be accessible to the public while the hotel tower and basement are only accessible to the guests and staff. 

It is not easy to say where architectural ideas come from. Anyhow, one satisfying idea was to create a kind of vertical landscape, which would make the building to connect to the park, and which would leave space for big trees to flow into the city. Towers are usually heavy structures. My idea was to make a tower which is not very heavy. Here starts the discussion of the architectonic boundaries: the curtains! And - the subtle boundaries they could create around a hotel room. The curtain is such a boundary, giving control to the guest when privacy is needed. When the rooms are empty the curtains are open, and when they are occupied the curtain is closed, creating change in the façade, in mass and color. 

This project shows a superimposition of two architectures, one could call strong, tectonic, and autonomous with clear basic geometry, own rules, and strong construction, and another, more anonymous, informal architecture of the area. I believe, the interplay of these two ‘languages’ could work well to develop an interesting new typology of a small hotel and, and inform strongly the architectural character of the building and its image toward the city.