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Dissolving Architecture into Nature: Dorte Mandrup Designs Hotel in Norway's Arctic Circle

Danish architecture studio Dorte Mandrup has just released the designs for its new project in the Arctic Region. Teaming up with high-end Norwegian adventure and outdoor brand Norrøna, the studio has designed a nature hotel. Situated in Northern Norway in Senja, Norway’s second-largest island, the hotel is surrounded by dramatic landscapes featuring steep mountains, beaches, valleys, and deep fjords.
Dissolving Architecture into Nature: Dorte Mandrup Designs Hotel in Norway's Arctic Circle

In a remote area of Senja’s western coast, the hotel is planned as an intimate nature hotel, sitting on an islet overlooking the Norwegian Sea and the mountainous peninsula. Designed to harmonize with its context, the hotel fulfills Norrøna’s mission to inspire people to “explore nature and foster a community around outdoor experiences.” Reflected deeply in the design, the hotel echoes this oneness with nature. In fact, it is designed to feature individual lodges all connected by one large stone roof that mimics the nearby mountains.

Aiming to disolve the boundaries between nature and architecture, the hotel spans approximately 1,800 square meters. Featuring 24 guest rooms, a restaurant, a sauna, and a conservatory, the hotel offers intimate retreats focused on community building around shared adventures. Furthermore, the lodges are arranged in a circle around the restaurant, acting as a communal gathering point after a day of exploration.

Emerging from the ground in a fragmented formation, the hotel draws all inspiration from the surrounding landscape. In fact, it is made to act as if it has naturally accumulated over time, forming fragments along the shore. Dorte Mandrup uses the landscape to inform the design, creating a building that “dissolves in nature.” Boasting a stone roof inspired by the rock and slate-covered mountain, the structure is also inspired by glacial movements. From above, the building nearly disappears into the terrain.

While attempting to create a textured architectural expression, the project seeks to reduce its environmental impact by utilizing locally sourced materials including slate, stone, and wood in addition to elements from an existing, decaying building. The hotel is set to be open to the public in 2026, where Norrønna believe it will create new jobs and increase demand for local products and services.

1500 km south of Senja, Norway’s capital city, Oslo, fosters other similar news and partnerships. The Norwegian Studio Powerhouse has recently won a design competition for the transformation and extension of one of the historical buildings located in the center of Landbrukskvartalet. In Bergen, Henning Larsen recently won an international competition to design the New Arts Center, aiming to blend urbanity, culture, and natural beauty.

Nour Fakharany

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