ON THE TOP OF THE WORLD you find Vadsø. A town of 5000 inhabitants surrounded by endless nature. To the south the Varanger fjord. Being the only fjord opening towards east, the light throughout the year is like no other place. To the west, the inner end of the fjord with the low birch forrests of Varanger. To the north, the endless Varanger widths with meandering hills describing the rocky ice age terrain.

Studio Name: HALLSTEIN

Design Team:
Zoe – Yan Zou
Kathrine Galtung
David Oliveira
Ralph Endemann
Bianca Suárez Steckelmacher
Hallstein Guthu

Area: 20045 m2
Year: 2018
Location: Varangerfjorden, Norway
Photography Credits: Illustrations by HALLSTEIN and Visarteam

Meandering Horizontals by HALLSTEIN - Sheet2
©HALLSTEIN and Visarteam

To the east, the bare, gently-stepped land- rise landscape meeting the fjord. No trees – only hardy lichen clinging to the stones. During summer the sun never sets. During winter the Aurora dances over the dark sky.

These unique surroundings guide the concept of “meandering horizontals” and are the inspiration for the design for Varanger Hotell by architecture and landscape studio HALLSTEIN.

The site is located centrally in the town of Vadsø. It is – like the landscape around – flat with potential views to all directions.
To east and south the site meets the fjord. To the west and north, the town.

The architectural design for Varanger Hotell is developed to achieve the following:
– A Luxury Tourist Hotell with Luxury Villas
– A design informed by the local nature, seasons and landscape

– A high-end landmark hotel for the region offering the highest international service levels

Studio HALLSTEIN has designed the hotel as several buildings connected to form a shape with relation to the local terrain.

Meandering Horizontals by HALLSTEIN - Sheet3
©HALLSTEIN and Visarteam

The access to the hotel is through the ravine. It runs the full height and depth of the hotel. On the top of the ravine the bar and the restaurant are connected by the Sun Bridge – a bridge build entirely from glass.

On the water front themed restaurants offer spectacular views to the nature your about to taste; fresh fish, huge crabs, rare eggs and the tastiest, leanest meat on the northern hemisphere.
A private dining room with its own kitchen attached forms the centre point for your culinary experince.

On the ground floor you find lobby, restaurants, spa, meeting places and areas available for commercial or festive use.

The hotel rooms are located on floor 2 and upwards. The concept show three classes of hotel rooms: 27 small suites (25m2), 150 medium suites (35m2) and 25 large suites or apartments (100m2). The floor plan layout is highly flexible and could easily be re-designed to fit alternative configuration of rooms.

On the top of the hotel is a fine dining restaurant and a top notch cocktail bar offering an easeful retreat with wonderful views.

The border to the arctic climatic zone run through these areas. This means that long parts of the year offer outdoor temperatures below comfortable indoor temperatures – often well below zero degrees celsius.

For the main body of the hotel holding rooms and other functions where people gather, the design seeks to optimise the use of glass.
The cladding is inspired by reflections made by the sun and the moon in the fjord. Through carefully crafted horizontal openings each room get spectacular views to the surrounding landscape.

Meandering Horizontals by HALLSTEIN - Sheet5
©HALLSTEIN and Visarteam

To maximise the experience of natural light, changing seasons and celestial phenomenons the ground floor circulation area is a super-insulated glass-only construction. This would be the first time such a construction is developed for this part of the world.

The roofs are all covered with photo voltaic panels integrated in the sky lights, offering in parallell energy harvest, solar shading and a beautiful view to the ever-changing sky of Varanger.


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