Die HydroElite Experience

Expressive functionality in Holmenkollen

Foto: : Ole Walther

Holmenkollen, in the northwest part of Oslo, is one of Norway’s most iconic and culturally rich areas. The popular destination houses the hotel Scandic Holmenkollen Park, which recently went through an extensive renovation. Thanks to a sustainable lift solution provided by Hydroware and Motum AS, the hotel has become more accessible. Working in modern contrast with its historical surroundings, the lift emphasises the acclaimed elements of the old sanatorium, also called Dragebygget, in which it resides. 

129-year-old history and culture echoes from the top of Holmenkollen as the renovated Scandic Holmenkollen Park has reopened after a vast 15-month renovation. A location known for its rich culture and for being one of Norway’s most visited tourist attractions, warrants a lot of attention on the aesthetics of the building. Dragebygget, built in the iconic Norwegian dragon style, has served as a summit for famous visitors, culture, and history for over a century. Ensuring the hotel’s accessibility, Dragebygget now houses a modern lift solution provided by Hydroware and Motum AS. When deciding on the overall appearance of the installation, all involved parties put care and attention into the design choices to make the lift feel as a genuine part of the building.

Lift shaft in hotel Scandic Holmenkollen

An added dimension

One of the most important factors to consider when adding a new lift in an old building is the placement. For Camilla Aasgaard, architect at Mellbye Arkitektur Interiør, one option unveiled itself to be unrivalled regarding both functionality and design.

Many different locations were considered when finding the best placement of the lift. The uncontested and best placement proved to be in the already existing stairwell. The lift is accessible from the King Entrance from the courtyard and serves all three hotel floors and the wine cellar.

Camilla Aasgaard, Mellbye Arkitektur Interiør

The original stairwell has been kept in great condition, still with the original wooden construction and hand carved details. Placing a new lift shaft in the middle of the original construction challenged the lift design to not deprive the building of its iconic appearance. Close cooperation between Mellbye Arkitektur Interiør, Hydroware and Motum, resulted in a lift that stands in contemporary contrast with Dragebygget’s historical milieu. Camilla Aasgaard believes that the contrasts highlight the building’s history as the details from the steel and glass encasing, emphasises the old robust timber. 

We decided on a lift cabin and shaft made from as much glass as possible. All outside details of steel were painted in a dark maroon colour while the steel in the cabin was oxidised. The result is a lift that accentuates the milieu and adds an extra dimension to both elements.

Camilla Aasgaard, Mellbye Arkitektur Interiør

The modern influence is used to draw attention to the original construction as the lift now sits firmly in the centre of the stairwell. A long-lasting solution that will serve visitors from all over the world with access to experience the one-of-a-kind hotel, for many generations.

Sustainable Harmony

Achieving a sustainable bespoke solution for Scandic Holmenkollen Park did prove challenging at times, as the newly added elements needed to pay respect to the physical environment. The project demanded creativity and know-how from both Hydroware and Motum, who are experts on complex lift projects. Thanks to the lift companies’ ingenuity, the final solution now stands as a gem in the heart of the building. The modular design ensures that the lift can live as natural part of Dragebygget for generations to come.

The long lasting and circular identity of the lift design perfectly reverberates the sustainable identity of the 15-month renovation. When it comes to sustainability, no stone has been left unturned. 100 percent renewable energy, ecolabeled products and the absence of single-use disposable items are some of the efforts made to ensure an ecolabel from the Nordic Swan Ecolabel’s rigorous criteria. Furthermore, the building complies with BREEAM-NOR, Norway’s foremost environmental certification for buildings. Erik Paulsson, Marketing Director for Hydroware, believes the choice of lift works in unison with the overall project. 

I am very happy with the final product and with the cooperation from all parties . We focus a lot on sustainability and on providing long-lasting solutions where the lift can live as long as the property in which it is installed. Therefore, I am very happy to have been part of providing a lift for this project, where sustainability has been the guiding star.

Erik Paulsson, Marketing Director Hydroware

Mikkel Vangsgaard, representing the property owner Eiendomsspar and Rica Eiendom, is very happy with the final solution and for the dedicated work by all involved parties.

We are very pleased with the installation and all the work put in. Everyone involved has shown consideration for both functionality and expression, as well as its significant role in an old and important stairwell.  Dragebygget and its architecture has been handled with respect – both in regard to the physical work that has been done, but also the chosen design and details of the lift and its construction. Not only does the lift give a crucial functionality for the hotel, but it also offers an interesting vertical journey through the stairwell.

Mikkel Vangsgaard, Eiendomsspar and Rica Eiendom