Completed in 1910 at the tail end of the art nouveau movement, Arsenalsgatan 6 has had many incarnations throughout its lifetime, but its initial role as a bank is that which has left the most indelible mark on the building.
The Bank Hotel started life in 1910 as the head office of the Södra Sverige Banking company. Designed as a bold, modern interpretation of a renaissance palace, architect Thor Thorén blended elements of art-deco extravagance with the traditional solidity expected of a bank’s headquarters.
Over the course of its lifetime, the building was home to a succession of banks including Svenska Handelsbanken, Diskontobank and Wermlands Enskilda Bank, followed by a period as an exhibition hall for Orrefors and even a legal library. Each of its occupants has left their mark and the observant guest can see evidence throughout the building.
These historical elements (massive bronze double doors provide a very real reminder of the building’s original purpose) are softened by gentler, subtler design touches – the glass ceiling of the main banking hall, now the Bonnie’s restaurant, is 6 metres high, flooding the interior space with light, and showcasing the elegant blue-green stucco-work of the supporting columns.
When bringing the hotel back to life, care has been taken to preserve all the original features, while presenting them in a fresh, modern aesthetic.