Iconic hotel leans towards an angular identity
Comwell owns and operates a string of high-quality spa and conference hotels across Denmark and Sweden. Bella Sky Comwell, its new hotel in the middle of Copenhagen’s newest neighbourhood, Ørestad, is the jewel in Comwell’s crown: Scandinavia’s largest hotel and a landmark of striking contemporary architecture. Designed by 3XN and holding a total of 814 rooms and 28 meeting and conference rooms, its two towers slope shyly away from each other at a 15 degree incline, like the two strokes of a very bold, chequered “V”, creating a vast range of different room layouts and views of the neighbouring nature reserve.
TEA, our associate architectural practice, was taken on to create interiors that would complement Bella Sky’s spectacular construction, and SDL was handed the task of turning 3XN’s dynamic architecture into visual communication. We were to create an identity for the scheme and a signage system to help guests and visitors navigate the complex environment in, around and between the two towers.
We developed a bespoke, geometric font for the scheme that took the angular architecture as its inspiration and replaced the curves of characters with angled strokes. This brought a clear, monochromatic Bella Sky identity to all of the material for the rooms, restaurants and elsewhere, and unified the signage throughout the hotel. In keeping with the functional, slightly industrial character of the identity, room numbers were punched out of perforated metal and backlit, and huge metal letters spelt out the name of the hotel in a stunning 17m-long metal sign on the approach road.
The hotel opened on 16 May 2011 and has allowed the Bella Convention Center to attract much larger international events and, in the process, it has become an icon for Ørestad, Copenhagen’s newest, most modern district. The signage system, and everything else in the hotel, seems to be working; Conde Nast Traveller magazine included Bella Sky on its “Hot List 2012”, and Tripadvisor’s “Travelers’ Choice 2012”, drawn from the reviews and opinions of thousands of users, named Bella Sky one of the ten best hotels in Denmark.
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