December 1st marked the start of the production of what will become Stockholm’s largest hotel. Choice Hotels Scandinavia’s new Clarion Hotel is designed by architect Gert Wingårdh and is part of a large transition project in the area around the City Central. The quarters around Norra Bantorget will go through a veritable metamorphosis during the coming years. The makeover will render the area a vivid part of the city with the hotel as the natural centre.
Norra Bantorget, a square that is usually associated with the head quarters of the Swedish Trade Union Confederation and the educational instance Norra Latin. The area will, during the coming years, experience a drastic change. In the area around Torsgatan and the Central Station a new city district will emerge, complete with green areas, offices, apartment buildings and the new hotel with distinct architectonic features.
− At the moment, we see a tremendous development of the area around Norra Bantorget. A new city centre is emerging hosting new business premises as well as private housings, says Arthur Buchardt, Norra Bantorget Invest AB. Gert Wingårdh’s innovative architecture, will ensure we reach our aim for the hotel; to become a new landmark for the city, Buchardt adds.
In the hotel project, Buchardt is the building proprietor. He is one of Norway’s most renowned entrepreneurs in the real-estate and hotel businesses and his track record includes more than 10 hotel projects in the Nordics. Buchardt has previously built six hotels for Choice.
The new hotel at Norra Bantorget will be run by Choice under the Clarion brand, Choice’s brand for high profile, design hotels. The hotel has not yet received a name. Choice Hotels Scandinavia is currently expanding, engaging in both new building projects as well as acquisitions. This strategy has made the group market leader in the Nordics, operating approximately 150 hotels. Petter A Stordalen, CEO, Choice Hotels Scandinavia, is very pleased with the new investment in Norra Bantorget which he says constitutes an important corner stone of the company’s strategy.
− This will become one of Stockholm’s most attractive hotels, the architecture and the location speak for this, says Stordalen. There is always room for a new exciting and well situated hotel in Stockholm and this will increase the overall attractiveness of Stockholm’s hotel district in the city, Stordalen adds.
The architect behind the hotel project at Norra Bantorget is Gert Wingårdh, currently one of Sweden’s most celebrated architects. He has previously, among other projects, designed the Swedish Embassy in Berlin, Universeum, an award winning museum in Gothenburg and the control tower at Arlanda airport in Stockholm.
– It has been important that the hotel reflects contemporary architecture, says Gert Wingårdh about the hotel at Norra Bantorget. The building is also designed in harmony with its surroundings. The back part, facing the rail tracks of the City Central Station, is dark and secluded whilst the front is bright and welcoming, almost leaning over the square.
The opening of the hotel is estimated to January 2008, but the whole area will not become complete until sometime during 2009. The last finish will be the road works and the creation of a new park.
Choice Hotels Scandinavia ASA is one of the largest hotel chains in the Nordics with more than 150 hotels in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Choice Hotels incorporate five different brands; Comfort Hotel, Quality Hotel, Quality Resort, Clarion Collection and Clarion Hotel. The aim of Choice Hotels Scandinavia is to become the leading hotel chain in the Nordics. The group strives to become the obvious choice for business and leisure travelers as well as conference organizers. Choice Hotels Scandinavia is part of Choice Hotels International with over 5000 hotels in 42 countries.