From Historic Factory to Boutique Hotel in Norway’s Lofoten Archipelago
In the enchanting realm of Norway‘s Arctic Circle lies Trevarefabrikken, a beacon of transformation on the island of Henningsvær. This former 1940s factory, once bustling with the production of cod liver oil and vibrant carpentry workshops, has undergone a metamorphosis. Now, it stands as a boutique hotel and cultural hub, a symbol of leisure, wellness, and community spirit reimagined.
The journey of Trevarefabrikken began in 2014, when four friends, inspired by its potential, embarked on an ambitious project. Their dream: to transform the weathered factory into a space that honors its industrial past while embracing the needs of modern travelers. This vision came to life with the help of local craftspeople, family, and the wider community, morphing the site into a symbol of rejuvenation and collaborative spirit.
The adaptive-reuse architectural transformation, spearheaded by Jonathan Tuckey Design in 2019, was a delicate balancing act. The goal was to maintain the authenticity of the factory’s vast, open spaces while creating intimate, welcoming areas for guests. An ode to the original character of the building, the project celebrates the beauty of imperfection. The design cleverly plays with contrasts – the exposed, raw concrete structure now houses warm, inviting bedrooms and public spaces that reflect both the site’s industrial heritage and the stunning natural landscape.
At Trevarefabrikken, every corner tells a story of collaboration. The owners, together with a dedicated team of builders and volunteers, executed Jonathan Tuckey Design’s vision with a deep respect for the building’s history. This blend of professional design and community craftsmanship has infused the space with an authentic, handcrafted essence, resonating with the organic spirit of the site.
A thoughtful exploration of contrasts that accentuates the site’s beauty.
The interior design of Trevarefabrikken is a study in contrasts and subtleties. The corridors, with minimal intervention, carry the whispers of the building’s past life. The guest rooms are serene retreats where industrial details are juxtaposed with bespoke timber elements sourced from local islands. Created by both locals and travelers who stayed in the hotel during the off-season, the custom joinery and wood furniture capture the soul of the community. This thoughtful interplay of light, texture, and contrasting materials creates a warm ambiance, inviting guests to immerse themselves in the tranquility of the Arctic.
Trevarefabrikken’s transformation extends to its social spaces, particularly Trandamperiet, the wine bar and restaurant. Once the heart of cod liver oil production, this space now offers a luminous, inviting atmosphere with stunning sea views, where the building’s history is celebrated through retained architectural elements and local materials.
Sustainability and local engagement are at the core of Trevarefabrikken’s ethos. From communal dining tables made of locally sourced larch to energy-efficient installations, every aspect of the renovation reflects a commitment to environmental stewardship and support for the local economy.
As Trevarefabrikken continues to evolve, with plans for further development, it remains a dynamic testament to the power of community, heritage, and thoughtful design. In the words of Dan Stilwell from Jonathan Tuckey Design, the project is as much about reconnecting the building with its surroundings and community as it is about physical restoration. Martin Hjelle, co-founder of Trevarefabrikken, highlights the significance of small details and embracing contrasts in appreciating the site’s beauty. Photography by Andrea Gjestvang.