A relaxing holiday
Peter Bohlin, an American architect of Swedish origin famous for having designed Bill Gates’ private villa and the Apple Stores in the world’s largest cities (London, Paris, San Francisco, New York and Tokyo), has designed a five star hotel in Sweden where guests seeking unadulterated luxury and comfort can enjoy a winter holiday on the snow or a relaxing summer getaway. Peter Bohlin’s practice (Bohlin Cywinski Jackson) has five offices across the United States with a total of around 200 employees. Its work focuses on experimentation with materials across varying scales of architecture. This versatility won the practice one of the most coveted international awards, the gold medal from the AIA (American Institute of Architects). «However different projects may be,» says Bohlin, «the challenge is always the same: discovering what is unique and appropriate to each specific place and understanding how people want to live there.» With a style that can be described as modern alpine, the hotel is set in the heart of Scandinavia, 730 metres above sea level on the slopes of Mount Förberget in the County of Jämtland, close to Åre, Sweden’s best known ski resort in the northwest of the country. Copperhill Mountain Lodge is a 5 star hotel with 112 rooms and suites (with a total of 420 beds), 2 restaurants, 2 bars, a 450-seat conference room and a spa inspired by the treatment and relaxation techniques of the ancient Sami people. The Sami are an indigenous population of around 75,000 people dwelling in the northern part of the Scandinavian peninsula, in an area they call Sápmi that extends from the Kola peninsula to central Norway and includes the northernmost regions of Finland and Sweden, generally known as Lapland.
The Sami have their own history, language, culture, lifestyle and identity, and the architect, influenced by his Swedish origins, chose to blend modern elements with cues taken from local tradition. Contemporary design integrates seamlessly with the natural environment through the use of materials such as stone, natural wood and large windows that offer a 360° panorama view of the surrounding mountains.
Guests have the feeling of being immersed in nature even when they are in the common spaces or rooms offering views of the surrounding mountains. The furnishing is modern but with historical and regional allusions, including references to the Sami culture and the time when the Åre and Mount Åreskutan area was an important copper mining centre, hence the name Copperhill Lodge.
At the heart of the hotel stands the large central stove in a communal space of breathtaking volume, consisting of a large void rising 5 floors with wooden balconies overlooking the covered «plaza». The play of exposed wood beams is also very striking.
The natural materials are used in a contemporary fashion throughout, without succumbing to facile romanticism or hackneyed styles from the past.
The chosen colours are also inspired by a natural palette. In accordance with Bohlin’s distinctive architectural style, everything contributes to creating a sense of continuity between the interior and exterior. The spa centre is no exception.
The swimming pool, relaxation area, wellness area, bathrooms, showers, massage area, sauna and changing rooms all feature Absolute Stone and Absolute Stone Palladiana stone reproduction ceramic tiles produced by the Gardenia Orchidea Group. The material is used to full effect on the floor and walls, where it creates a pleasant texture based on the simple juxtaposition of fragments and regular shaped ceramic tiles in such a way as to identify and distinguish the different areas.