Beautiful Hotel Interiors

Located in a brutalist former bank headquarters in Stockholm, Universal Design Studio’s latest project, the At Six hotel, is home to one of Europe’s most significant hotel art collections. The London-based studio carried out a complete interior renovation to create the 343-room luxury hotel in the Swedish capital’s Brunkebergstorg Square, and also designed a new entrance. The scheme includes 10 floors of guest rooms, a penthouse suite, a 100-cover restaurant, a wine bar, cocktail bar, a 2,000-square-metre events and flexible work space, and Scandinavia’s first slow listening lounge.

hotel-at-six-standard-room

The art collection is curated by Sune Nordgren, formerly of the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art.

art

The gorgeous monochrome interior contrasts shades of warm grey and highly textured natural materials with soft furnishings and classic furniture. The aim was to reinterpret the brutalist aesthetic of the building and the immediate architectural landscape of Brunkebergstorg Square. “A palette of sawn stone, blackened steel, fine timber and polished granite lends a sense of permanence and authenticity to the new interior,” explained Universal Design Studio.

hotel-a2

“Moving away from the uncompromising and unforgiving aesthetic characteristics often associated with the brutalism – the brief was to create a desirable, fashionable destination,” said the team. “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.”

hotel-3.jpg

Pieces of contemporary and classic furniture are complemented by specially commissioned pieces created by local makers and established Scandinavian designers. Custom lighting by Rubn is installed in each guest room, and local glassmaker Carina Seth Anderson has created a series of sculptural, hand-blown glass vessels for the lobby as well as tabletop pieces for each dining table in the restaurant.

six 5

The handrail of the grand white granite staircase in the hotel’s lobby was wrapped in leather by a local saddle maker, while a communal table in the wine bar was carved by local artist Lies-Marie Hoffman from a single Swedish elm trunk. Bedrooms feature timber wall panelling and marble credenzas that run the full length of the room. The hotel is one of four 1970s buildings that occupy Stockholm’s Brunkebergstorg Square. The buildings were built during a government initiative that aimed to replace much of the city centre’s belle époque grandeur with brutal modernity.

six 6

Although the high-rise building was originally designed by Swedish architects Boijsen & Efervgren as a hotel, it ended up functioning as the headquarters of Swedbank, never fulfilling its intended purpose. Now owned and operated by Petter Stordalen of Nordic Hotels & Resorts, the hotel is at the centre of a wider regeneration programme that aims to transform Brunkebergstorg Square into a social hub within the city.

six 8

six 7.jpg

hotel 4

Six-hotel-by-Universal-Design-Studio-Stockholm-Sweden-07

Beautiful Sculpture

Recently I had the pleasure to visit these magical willow houses. Actually it’s an art installation by Patrick Dougherty at the Palo Alto Art Center.

willow branch sculpture

gab gab2

They are little huts of woven willow branches creating tunnels and arches, in and out of doorways. The art piece is called Double Take and here is a YouTube video about its installation. If you happen to be in the SF Bay Area Peninsula area, the Palo Alto Art Center is worth a visit. Patrick Dougherty’s sculptures have been there for a few years, and the sculpture will remain until the willow branches naturally decay.

Beautiful Sculpture

Nestled in the hills just south of Napa, CA
is the fabulously fun Glashoff  sculpture gallery
and garden in Suisun City, CA. Be sure to check
it out if you are ever in Napa. Phillip Glashoff
continues the tradition of the lifestyle he was
born to on his northern California ranch.
His real passion is creating sculpture out of
scrap metal. The results dot the landscape
of the ranch; herds of steel sculpted cattle,
giant banjos, and archways made of street signs
just to name a few of which must be hundreds.

My favorite is the wind-up toy car that sits atop
a pole in the middle of the sculpture garden.
car

The kangaroo is made entirely of
recycled bolts.
bolts

Charming figure do the landscape including
a cowboy and his horse.
tonto

Candyland game sculpture made of
recycled metal and steel materials
candyland

This charming TP Lady holds all
your toilet needs and towels.
tp lady

Dancing Girl
dancing girl

Sculpture Garden – Great place to wander.
sculpture garden

Beautiful Sculpture

Johnson Tsang’s Coffee Kiss pieces made me laugh.
Yuanyang, a mixture of three parts coffee and seven
parts Hong Kong-style milk tea, perfectly represents
Eastern and Western cultures. The sculptures, which
always feature two people sharing a momentary kiss,
are meticulously made from ceramics and stainless
steel and have been created in a wide variety of
colors, shapes, and sizes.
coffee_kiss_01
 coffee_kiss_02 coffee_kiss_03