05 June 2012
Quality Hotel Expo, Fornebu, Oslo
This interior architectural project for a large hotel and conferencing venue, is inspired by the stunning Norwegian landscapes and uses a primary pallette of natural materials to provide variety in spatial composition, form, texture and colour.
The primary design strategy was to rationalise a complex set of inter-connecting spaces and functions, providing consistent themes and architectural tectonics but variety and specific ‘installations’ to define each space from the next. The main communal space of the hotel is understood through a simple architectural theme; the ‘big floor’, which is then subtely sub-divided into zones to define the lobby, from the restaurant / cantine, to private dining, lounge / library and conference lobby. The norwegian forests are a primary inspiration, whereby timber is used throughout in very different ways to create semi-permeable screens, cladding to cores, a bespoke square-log reception and bar, right down to details such as signage and loose furniture. The main lobby space is framed by a stylised forest wall that divides the lobby from the restaurant but allows glimpses between the spaces and filters natural light from the main skylight above.
The lobby is more than a reception and waiting lounge, elevated to a communal dining and meeting point for hotel and conference guests. Subtle lighting has been installed to work with the planted trees, where shadows from their canopies dance upon the articulated lobby ceiling.
The lounge and library space is defined by a slender timber screen, that seemingly goes off for a walk, creating bar shelving, bookshelves, desks and ceiling. By contrast, the hotel rooms are played down, with simple materials and furnishings.