Stockholm is undoubtedly the ultimate Nordic city, its pristine historic elegance and bustling vibrancy leaves its marvel unprecedented. Each neighbourhood with its own distinct character is enhanced by the cities surrounding of contrasting forest and stunning archipelago.
Words: Kalli Zerveas
London based Universal Design Studio’s latest project captures the essence of the lively city. The At Six hotel located in the regenerated Brunkebergstorg Square combines the history and the modernism that makes Stockholm one of the world’s outstanding tourist destinations.
Following a brutalist high-rise structure, the building was traditionally designed in the 1970’s as a hotel. Instead it had long been home to the Head Quarters of Swedbank. It is now finally being converted to its original purpose – as Sweden’s premier contemporary luxury hotel, home to one of Europe’s most significant hotel art collections.
Universal Design Studio has reinterpreted the brutalist aesthetic of the building and the immediate architectural landscape of the square, with complete interior renovation and the creation of a new modern entrance façade. At Six is one of four of buildings that occupy the historic square, each built during a government initiative aimed at replacing much of the city centre’s belle époque grandeur with modernity.
Brunkebergstorg Square was famed in the late 19th century as a beacon of the cities development. Today, in partnership with Universal, the square will return to its place as one of the city’s most popular and vibrant social hubs.
Universal’s approach is to bring the best of both international and local to Stockholm. An exclusive selection of contemporary and classic furniture pieces is complemented by bespoke pieces by local and established Scandinavian designers. Custom lighting by Rubn feature in each room, local glassmaker Carina Seth Anderson has created handmade glass pieces, and a local saddle maker has hand-wrapped the Swedish leather handrail for the lobby’s white granite staircase. In the wine bar sits a communal table carved from a single Swedish Elm trunk by local artist Lies-Marie Hoffman.
Universal asserts its design is ‘focused on humanising the architecture, bringing a sense of desirability and luxury to a brutalist building not often associated with these traits, turning the hotel into a contemporary version of a metropolitan grand hotel’.
Moving past the uncompromising and unforgiving aesthetic characteristics often associated with brutalism – Universal creates a fashionable environment and desirable destination. A palette of sawn stone, blackened steel, fine timber and polished granite lends to a sense of longevity and authenticity to the new interior. Warm greys and highly textured natural materials are contrasted with soft furnishings and classic furniture editions presenting a theme throughout. This continues across the public floors, into the guest rooms where custom furniture and designer lighting meets mirror and timber wall panelling and marble credenzas.
The scheme includes 343 rooms across ten floors of guest rooms, a penthouse suite, a 100 cover restaurant, a wine bar, cocktail bar and even Scandinavia’s first slow listening lounge. The recreation possibilities are endless with multiple restaurants, a gym and a wellness centre.
At Six is owned and operated by Petter Stordalen of Nordic Hotels & Resorts with curator Sune Nordgren, formerly of the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art.
Original artwork by Jaume Plensa, Olafur Eliasson, Julian Opie, Sol Le Witt, Tacita Dean, Spencer Finch, Richard Long and Marijke van Warmerdam will be displayed as well as individual artworks by Kristina Matousch. Works by Swedish photographer Dawid complete the hotel art collection.