Claesson Koivisto Rune converts historic Bergen retreat into 18-room hotel

Claesson Koivisto Rune has contrasted the 250-year-old exterior of Bergen’s Villa Terminus hotel in Norway with bright and contemporary interiors that reference several design periods.

Villa Terminus hotel n Bergen by Claesson Koivisto Rune

The building was constructed by a local philanthropist in the 1770s and was originally intended as a shelter for families in need, later becoming a care home for the elderly.

Because of its listed status the Stockholm studio had limited opportunities to alter the building, so instead focused on creating interiors that bring together several periods of design.

Villa Terminus hotel n Bergen by Claesson Koivisto Rune

The 18-room hotel features muted walls, set off by flashes of colour provided by the furniture. Pieces include items designed by Claesson Koivisto Rune as well as pieces by the likes of the Bouroullec brothers, Ilse Crawford and Konstantin Grcic.

Villa Terminus hotel n Bergen by Claesson Koivisto Rune

White seating in the hotel’s dining room is contrasted by copper pendants, while bedrooms are decked out in natural materials and woven textiles.

Villa Terminus hotel n Bergen by Claesson Koivisto Rune

Claesson Koivisto Rune sourced a number of mid-century furniture and lighting pieces, which are dotted around the hotel’s living areas and a library stocked with Norwegian literature and history.

“The mix-up of time fitted us well since we were neither recreating the antiquarian nor building a contemporary statement,” said the studio’s Eero Koivisto.

Villa Terminus hotel n Bergen by Claesson Koivisto Rune

“By choosing elements of furniture, fittings and colours from different eras – an ancient finish, a mid-century modern vintage accessory here, a contemporary piece of furniture there – the concept of time has surprisingly vanished,” continued Koivisto.

“The reason for choosing a number of interior pieces from the mid-19th century was because it was the last period when the handcrafted was strong in Scandinavia,” added Ola Rune. “And, if anything, handcrafted is something the entire building is.”

Villa Terminus hotel n Bergen by Claesson Koivisto Rune

The work of Dutch artist Vilhelm Hammershøi – who often depicted minimal, grey-tinged interiors – was also an influence on the studio’s approach. Claesson Koivisto Rune set out to recreate an “air of tranquility and clear soft light that was quintessentially Scandinavian” said Mårten Claesson.

The studio, which was founded in 1995 by Mårten Claesson, Eero Koivisto and Ola Rune, has worked on several interiors projects including a ceramics showroom in Japan, which it decked out with pale wooden display furniture.

Villa Terminus hotel n Bergen by Claesson Koivisto Rune

Although it started life as an architectural firm, Claesson Koivisto Rune has broadened its scope to create furniture, lighting and accessories, including a recent collection of disc-shaped lights for FontanaArte.

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