The dark and the bright side of Svalbard
Svalbard is an island archipelago, situated only 1000 km from the North Pole. It consists of a group of islands with the total area of 62 000 km2, most of which is covered in glaciers. From November until the beginning of February polar night dominates Svalbard – a time when the sunlight simply does not exist. April until August, on the other hand, is a period of the midnight sun. The geographic location and the nature of Svalbard serve as the starting point for the hotel’s interior architecture, as well as the name – thus the dark and the bright side of Svalbard.
The legendary William Shakespeare once asked: “Where does the white go when the snow melts?” A question not less important in the case of world’s northernmost hotel. Whitespace is more than an empty space. Under the white snow cover, there lies the hidden part of nature that has long been asleep. When the snow melts, natural shades appear on the surface and contrast with the white of the snow. Therefore the space of the hotel is dominated by a wide range of natural tones, varying in intensity and proportion, but at the same time preserving the freshness and harmony of nature. The constant interaction between light and darkness, midnight sun and polar night, can be seen in the interior as well, taking the form of tonal contrast. The bright tones come from the crisp white of the snow, the dark ones have been adopted from natural shades. The lobby area provides an impressive view of the depths of the room, and it’s quite practical to leave this vast space uncovered. Therefore, the light objects have been integrated into the room, as opposed to serving as design elements. Natural and sustainable finishing materials dominate the interior, emphasizing a specific structure and relief. This is also inspiration from the part of Svalbard that’s been covered in snow, characterized by rough texture, as well as course and saturated vibes.