Inspired by Surrounding Nature

On a small peninsula, amidst the enormous mountains and long fjords of Northern Norway there lies a beautiful piece of architecture like no other. Inspired by its surroundings, Restaurant Solvind on Spåkenes has gotten a lot of attention for its striking design.

Alpine Inspiration

Straight through the region, the alpine mountain range The Lyngen Alps extends like a massive wall, defining a boundary between east and west. The spectacular mountains have become the region’s pride and attract thousands of visitors every year. When the restaurant was on the drawing board, the architects were mesmerized by the majesty of the surrounding alpine landscape, and there was no doubt that a building in these surroundings should honour the adjacent mountains. Directly motivated by the shapes of cliffs and mountain peaks straight across the fjord, the cutting edges and sharp outlines are symbols of nature’s greatness. 

Promoting Light

Inside of the spectacular building, almost all surfaces are darker-toned or completely black to minimize distraction. In the summertime, the darker inside stands as a contrast to the all-night shining, fiery red midnight sun in the horizon. During the dark times of the winter season, the restaurant’s interior colours emphasise on the colourful northern lights dancing over the restaurant. The design element makes for a spectacular view of the surroundings without any distractions at any time of the year. The adjacent area is completely free for artificial lights. No street lamps or other lights can pollute the clear view of two of the world’s finest weather phenomena.

Interesting read? Then we highly suggest reading our story Contemporary Scandinavian Design with a classic look. A story about Edda, a restaurant in Oslo designed in true Scandinavian fashion.

The Igloos

The story behind Solvind starts way before the restaurant itself was even thought of. Lyngen North, the company behind the restaurant started out building glass igloos to serve as an unusual accommodation experience for tourists in the area. The igloos feature the same panorama view of the surrounding arctic landscape, thus being an attractive place to stay when travelling through the North. Inspired by the arctic people, the people at Lyngen North wanted to modernize the design of a thousand-year-old building technique. After some time of hosting guests in igloos in the middle of nowhere, they saw a need for a dining experience at the same level as the overnight experience. And so, the work on building the restaurant started. Three years later, the restaurant stands on top of the hill in all its splendour, completing the unforgettable experience of sleeping and dining in fantastic nature. 

The hillside beneath the restaurants hosts a total of five glass igloos. Two with a 360° view and three with a 180° like this one.

An Ironic Name

The name Solvind means solar wind, which is the stream of charged particles released from the sun’s upper atmosphere. The stream hits the earth’s atmosphere and creates the beautiful aurora dancing over both of earth’s poles. Quite ironic, the sun’s upper atmosphere, where the solar wind comes from is called The Corona, the name of the virus that shut down Solvind just under a month after the grand opening.

Rethinking Cuisine

Solvind is not just about the architecture, but more importantly great culinary experiences. At Solvind, the chefs focus on combining the quality of local produce with the approach of international cuisine. With a menu featuring among other things, espresso marinated local salmon, the restaurant attracts visitors from all over Norway and all over the world. In a while, we will publish a blog post dedicated to the exceptional food at Solvind. In the meantime, we suggest reading our story, A Taste of the Wild in Downtown Oslo.

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