Nordic Sea Hotel (2010)

A commission for a new design and communications concept

Nordic Sea Hotel is located in a former police station in the center of Stockholm. The facility has obvious limitations in terms of spatial quality since it is an old, existing building design for a different purpose. Furthermore, there was also a need to address practical requirements for well-functioning hotel operation, such as flow management, connectivity between spaces as well as everyday tasks in the hotel but also to consider how the hotel may interact with it’s surrounding and provide an exciting exterience for both visitors and guests.

Jonas Wagell was invited – in competition with two other architect firms – to develop a new design concept and architectural identity for the hotel.


The brief requested a revitalization of the hotel experience and solutions to practical issues:

  • Create clear identity and increase awareness of the hotel.
  • Increase number of conference guests during day.
  • Increase number of bar and restaurant guests during night.
  • Improve and simplify check-in procedure during day-time.
  • Enhance visitor flow to the Absolut Ice Bar now crowding the lobby.
  • Improve flexibility to allow more breakfast and lunch guests.
  • Improve guest experience in the 367 small hotel rooms.


To create a strong identity a design concept proposal was developed which included:

  • To build a seamless glass facade towards the street and placing plants and small tree both inside and outside to create a transparency and connection between exterior and interior.
  • Relocate the entrance to the Absolut Ice Bar to avoid waiting visitors in the hotel lobby.
  • Build a free-standing check-in desks to allow access from three sides and encreased overall capacity.
  • To add a free-standing bar cladded in brass as the main focus in the lobby, which also accommodates check-in when required.
  • Ttransform the lobby from waiting area to lounge/bar/café by replacing the dominant existing staircase with a curved and space-efficient, contemporary version.
  • Create recognition and brand value for the hotel by attracting non-hotel guest to lounge, bar and restaurant with enhanced and lively nightlife experience with concerts and dj sets.
  • Introduce a simplified “On the fly Breakfast” with newspaper and “Street smart Lunch” in the lounge to relieve the Bistro.
  • Redesign the conference facility to be accommodate more guests in a more transparent and airy environment with colour coded conference rooms.
  • To create a clear and space-efficient design concept for the small hotel rooms and to differentiate them with colours, materials and lighting moods.
  • To reduce cleaning time with better planned rooms with less unused space and to ultimately sets the guest experience in focus.

Project information

  • Title: Nordic Sea hotel
  • Project: Commission proposal for hotel renovation
  • Client: Nordic Hotels
  • Size: approx. 2,000 sqm
  • Design: Jonas Wagell
  • Year: 2010


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