Tengbom has been commissioned to develop a parallel proposal for a scenic upgrade of the water-front area of Helsingborg, Sweden. With this project, the private investor Backahill is planning for a new hotel and spa facility. However, Tengbom’s proposal also includes a new public plaza. The title—Himlarand (eng. Skyline)—speaks of its organic form that weaves effortlessly into the existing terrain and becomes an architectural beacon on this side of the Baltic Sea.
Helsingborg is a coastal town in southwest Sweden and the country’s closest point to Denmark. The Danish city Helsingør is clearly visible on the other side of the Øresund strait (commonly known as The Sound) with a thriving ferry traffic connecting both shores. In the evenings, one can watch the sun set right between the two countries. A unique experience indeed.
The building is designed as horizontal and vertical blocks that merge into a dynamic construction giving a sense of a floating motion. The horizontal wave-like terrace provides an extension of the existing promenade, activating the otherwise flat area with elevated viewpoints and recreational service accessible to the public. The vertical structure, on the other hand, becomes a bold landmark for the region, accentuating its urban character and offering a unique hotel experience.
Although the building may appear high, the vertical block’s efficient arrangement leaves minimal footprint, both on the ground level, as well as in relation to sightlines of the buildings behind it. Natural materials such as wood, stone and glass are all an integral part of the concept, gracing the façade and the interiors alike. The location of Himlarand is both strategic and symbolic—it serves an animated venue at the westernmost point of the country and enhances the connection between the land and the water.
The main hall of the hotel is its touch point with the surroundings, designed to promote a welcoming and social atmosphere, with an open foyer, lobby and a restaurant, organically forged by lush greenery and the omnipresence of nautical references. The spa area below maximises daylight exposure and brings interior serenity contrasted by the waves crashing against the shore. The focal point of each of the 120 hotel rooms is a panoramic window with a sitting nook, allowing to savour the view on the coastline from the comfort of one’s private space. At the apex, the scenic experience culminates with an infinity pool, a rooftop terrace and a breath-taking 360-degree panorama.