It once provided energy for large swathes of Sweden but now Västerås’s defunct steam power station has found new life as a boutique hotel, opening next month.
The Steam Hotel takes over the 100-year-old energy plant on the shores of Lake Mälaren, now reimagined as a 227-bedroom destination with a spa, three restaurants and a bar. The adaptive reuse project is the brainchild of Sweden’s Ess Group – creators of the Hotel Pigalle and Ystad Saltsjöbad spa resort – and it will throw open its doors to guests on 1 August.
Many industrial features have been retained inside the 18-storey power plant, which was originally designed by Erik Hahr and in operation until 1982. ‘We have recovered as much as we could,’ says Jonas Stenberg, co-founder of Ess. ‘An old steam boiler is a bar, and so on. The entire building must feel spectacular.’
Colossal steel beams are left open in the lobby to create a soaring space around an open fireplace with a copper chimney. The room is crowned by a vast chandelier and furnished with plump armchairs and a round velvet sofa.
Bedrooms channel a ‘industrial-romantic style’, as the hotel puts it, complete with leaded floor-to-ceiling windows, exposed brickwork, and a mix of eclectic furniture with brightly coloured textiles.
A more direct homage to The Steam Hotel’s history can be found on the seventh floor, where there’s a 800 sq ft spa and indoor pool to ‘renew energy and strength’ – heated by an old steam turbine salvaged from the building.