Snøhetta reveals sinuous hotel
for a Norwegian island

Lofoten Opera Hotel by Snøhetta

Architecture firm Snøhetta has unveiled images of a hotel that will wind across a rocky outcrop in Norway's Lofoten archipelago.

Expected to start on site later this year, the Lofoten Opera Hotel will be located on an outlying site in Glåpen flanked by a mountain range. The new low-rise structure will loop a central courtyard, but will offer views out across the sea to the south and west.

Lofoten Opera Hotel by Snøhetta

"The spectacular view and the feeling of being 'in the middle' of the elements are the premier qualities of the site," said Snøhetta in a statement.

"In a unifying gesture the site is captured in a circular movement, the complex layers of references to nature, culture, land qualities are translated into a band that transforms the site into a place."

The 11,000 square-metre building will accommodate a mix of hotels and apartments within its curved body. There will also be spa facilities, seawater basins, hiking resources and an amphitheatre.

The project looks set to attract new guests to Lofoten, which is home to one of Norway's 18 national tourist routes. Stretching along an 184-kilometre road, the route encompasses facilities for tourists exploring the natural landscape, including the Eggum rest stop completed by Snøhetta in 2007.

Eggum Tourist Route by Snøhetta
Eggum rest stop completed by Snøhetta in 2007 in Lofoten

Here's a description of the project from Snøhetta:

Lofoten Opera Hotel

Furthest west of Lofoten, in Moskenes community close to the town Sørvagen, is Glåpen.

The site extends out to sea to the south and west, linking the contact between ocean and the tall, shielding mountains to the north and northwest. The location is spectacular, sunny, in the mighty landscape elements, yet in touch with old settlement and sheltered harbors.

Snøhetta has developed a project and looked at a number of factors: the landscape "critical load" vs. new construction, functional and technical aspects of access, infrastructure, ecology and sustainability, connection to outdoors areas and existing buildings. The main goal is to find the development patterns and shapes that trigger the functional, architectural and experiential triggers the plot's formidable potential. We think it will be essential to find a building program and a scale that "hits", both in terms of economy, market and individual experience opportunities.

The spectacular view and the feeling of being "in the middle" of the elements are the premier qualities of the site. Plot view, organisation and habitat as form have been inspiring elements behind the concept. In a unifying gesture the site is captured in a circular movement, the complex layers of references to nature, culture, land qualities are translated into a band that transforms the site into a place.

This form creates an inner and outer space, and enhances the site's inherent potential of an architectural expression. Concept and program are balanced in a mix of hotels, apartments, amphitheatre, spa, hiking and sea water basins within a total size of 11,000 m2. The local beach culture and storstuga are included in the project. The organic form protects and opens at the same time.

Location: Lofoten
Typology: Residential & Hotel
Client: Lofoten Opera AS
Status: Ongoing
Size: 11,000 sqm

  • Romain_M

    Moskenes looks like a Nordic Garden of Eden (Norweden?), if you look it up on Google you’re in for some very nice eye candy.

    I like how the hotel is coiled on itself, as if to not intrude on the landscape :) Good thing it’s a Spa, as the building seems to be gently resting by the water.

  • mitate

    Wow. That’s going to be really something in that setting.

  • Eynak East

    Snohetta is better than anything I can write in a letter, even nicer than feta and they don’t even make any cheese. Their stuff ain’t cheesy just smooth and calm, gentle like the soft touch a palm, no alarm just bringing the aesthetics of a Norwegian-centric cohesion, it’s design fusion, fused with the context, Lofoten is happening made bling with my rappen-in this Dezeen comment-ing.

    • Nicklas

      I like Snøhetta but easy does it! Especially
      with this project, which is similar to BIG’s NUUK, made
      almost 4 years ago, just not as nice.

      Besides that, NUUK is one of BIG’s best project!

      • mitate

        You actually replied to that. What am I missing?

  • pipe

    So Dezeen, when oh when will you begin crediting visualisation artists? Photographers get the tick of approval, but not the good people who produced this image? While in house production is improving, it’s fairly safe to assume the cover image is not produced by Snohetta but by another group of Norwegians who have put significant time and energy into its production… Who would perhaps appreciate some credit. No?

  • CDBr

    I think I prefer this over the Greenland National Gallery (a similar approach by BIG). The coil seems less clumsy.

  • Rae Claire

    Looks like an ammonite fossil that washed up on the shore. And I mean that as a compliment; it’s big, but it fits right in.

  • Fastigheter

    Not unpleasant from an aerial view, but in the Lofoten Islands, it’s easy to make anything look good. Remember, Eynak East, that Snohetta are also responsible for the complete pants KulturVaven project in Umea. The ultimate in unsympathetic, shallow, plonked-down, characterless slime. Like BIG but worse.

    Image or architecture?