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The dark and the bright side of Svalbard

The dark and the bright side of Svalbard

Svalbard is an island archipelago, located from the North Pole only 1000 km. This archipelago consists of several islands with a total area – 62 000  km2. The largest part of island archipelago is covered by glaciers. From November to early February there are polar nights in Svalbard, a time when there is no sunlight. By contrast, from April to August – the polar day. The geographic location of Svalbard and nature serves as a starting point for the hotel interior architecture concept with a title “The dark and the bright side of Svalbard.”

Writer William Shakespeare in one of his works asked: “Where does the whiten color go when the snow melts? This question arises in Svalbard. Whitespace is more than an empty space. Under the white snow cover is hidden views of the nature part, which has been asleep for a long time. When the snow is melted, in the surface comes out tones of nature, which contrasts with the snow white. Space is dominated by a wide range of natural colors palette that varies with the intensity and proportion of color, but without losing the natural freshness and harmony effect.

The constant interaction between light and dark period in Svalbard climate motivated these two opposites to bring inside. In tone contrast format. Interior interact polar day and polar night or dark and light tones. Bright tone borrowed from the snow crispy white, dark tones of the earth.

In view of the successful space lobby area, which offers a perspective view of the depth of the space, it is useful to keep this broad view open. Free of sight troublesome objects. Therefore, light objects are integrated into the rooms, rather than serve as a design accent. It allows an easy way sigh to move in the rooms without any troublesome.

The interior is dominated by natural and sustainable finishes. With strong structure and relief. The materiality is taken from Svalbard parts of nature, which is located under the snow. It is characterized by rough textures, expressed relief, without the gloss and polish.


  • project type: hospitality
  • interior architecture: COBALT / ANNVIL
  • interior with cooperation with: Studio KAAPE
  • architecture: SPACE GROUP
  • team: Reinis Sokolovs, Juris Sarmons, Edite Bokane, Dace Karole, Diana Rupeika, Edite Bite, Augusts Galins
  • status: completed
  • year: 2015 - 2018
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