When Doos Architects was commissioned to design the Radisson Blu Riverside Hotel in Gothenburg, Sweden, the prominent boutique design practice was intrigued.
A standard big chain hotel such as the Radisson typically reproduced their style mark, while the design firm is known to come up with creative and inspiring designs, never really recycling their ideas.
Bronwynn Welsh, CEO of Doos Architects explains: “The hotel has a very small public space, which is unusual for a Radisson, so we had to use this very small space in a smart way.
When we started looking at the design, there were no restrictions because the rooms were quite small, so we got it from scratch, and had to ask ourselves, ‘how can we use the small spaces in the best way?’”
The designers looked no further than their immediate surroundings for their inspiration. Located in the Swedish city of Lindholmen, Gothenburg, it wasn’t much of a surprise to hear that the concept underpinning the hotel pays homage to the rich history and narrative of the town.
Once an old shipyard, Lindholmen boasts a particularly industrial feel, proudly sporting the badge and air of the shipbuilding industry.
“The location is what gave birth to the whole concept and idea, Gothenburg was a industrial area and was part of the shipping yards, and even though the shipping industry has left its place, it still resembles this past,” Welsh says.
With the past in the back of Doos’ mind and modernity at its forefront, the architects set out to create a space that would merge the two points in time together, while also approaching the small space in an advantageous manner.
One of the main goals for the design team was to maintain individual expression, even within an international brand hotel. With a range of materials that includes wood, iron and copper, the traditional feeling of industrialisation and factory work is never too far behind.
“There’s a lot of wood and there’s a lot of copper throughout the hotel. You can see it in the whole reception and back office area,” describes Welsh of the copper cladding, which frames the front entrance and reflects the natural light that seeps in through the giant front windows.