The Villa Terminus: A Quiet Balance of History & Modernity

05.31.17 | By
The Villa Terminus: A Quiet Balance of History & Modernity

Many hotels we’ve come across for our Destination Design column have some kind of wow factor that really catches your eye, but every now and then a boutique hotel comes along that’s more demure and subtle in its beautiful, modern aesthetic. The Villa Terminus is one of those. Located in Bergen, Norway, this 18-room hotel is a part of the hotel group De Bergenske, a collection of five historic properties in the city that’s known for being different (in a wonderful way) from other hotels. Villa Terminus was recently rejuvenated by Swedish architecture and design firm, Claesson Koivisto Rune, and the results are quintessentially Bergen: contemporary, detail-focused, and quietly alluring.

Claesson Koivisto Rune breathed new life into the building without stripping away its history, which dates back all the way to 1760s when merchant and philanthropist Alexander Kaae originally started on the creation of this property.

The interiors of Villa Terminus were inspired by paintings of 19th century Danish artist Vilhelm Hammershøi who sought the beauty in that clear soft light that so many artists and photographers chase after. Inside, everything from the wall colors to the furniture and fixtures were carefully chosen to emulate that kind of natural beauty in a Hammershøi oil painting.

One of the attractive features of the interiors is that you can’t quickly separate what’s modern and what’s antiquarian. Claesson Koivisto Rune made sure that a seamless balance was achieved to create that kind of muted, Scandinavian aesthetic that we’ve all come to love. For the serious design aficionado, you’ll be able to spot furniture and objects by some of the most world renowned designers including: Erwan and Ronan Bouroullec, David Chipperfield, Antonio Citterio, Ilse Crawford, Andreas Engesvik, Josef Frank, Sir Kenneth Grange, Konstantin Grcic, Jasper Morrison, Patrick Norguet, Russell Pinch, Samuel Wilkinson, and Terence Woodgate – just to name a few. You’ll also find vintage mid-century pieces and art sprinkled throughout the property.

What: The Villa Terminus
Where: Zander Kaaes gate 6a, 5015 Bergen, Norway
How much? Prices start at approximately $269 per night
Highlights: The Villa Terminus is a historic property that’s been rejuvenated into a restful retreat for modern travelers who don’t need extravagant amenities and would rather be surrounded by simple, elegant design.
Design draw: It’ll be easy practice the art of the hygge in this beautifully demure, quintessentially Scandinavian vibe created by Claesson Koivisto Rune. Historic meets contemporary design in a way that’s so well balanced and unassuming that you’ll feel immediately relaxed upon arrival.
Book it: Visit the Villa Terminus

Photos by Åke Eson Lindman.

As the Senior Contributing Editor, Vy Yang is obsessed with discovering ways to live well + with intention through design. She's probably sharing what she finds over on Instagram stories. You can also find her at