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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Bella Sky in Copenhagen, Denmark by 3XN Architects

May 20th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal

A light sculpture with more than 7000 LED lights welcomes you to the largest hotel in Scandinavia

When the Bella Sky Hotel launched in Copenhagen on May 16th, guests were greeted in the foyer by The Bella Chandelier – a living scenography of light and color created by GXN, the R&D department of Danish architects 3XN

Exterior View

  • Architect: 3XN Architects
  • Name of Project: Bella Sky
  • Address: Bella Center, Center Boulevard S, Copenhagen S, Denmark
  • Client: Bella Center A/S
  • Size: 42.000 m2
  • Height: 76,5 m (23 floors)
  • Number of Rooms: 814 rooms and 30 conference rooms
  • Engineer: Rambøll Denmark
  • Photography: Adam Moerk

The Bella Chandelier – an example of multidisciplinary innovation

With the aim of bringing art and science together in one unique light and color experience, the multidisciplinary team of GXN has been on a journey exploring the realm between structure, technology and design. After a development of various phases the journey has come to an end and the light sculpture will be installed this week at the Bella Sky Hotel designed by 3XN.

Exterior View

The advanced geometry of the light sculpture is inspired by the stringent yet dynamic design of the Bella Sky that called for a unique collaboration of partners. Kasper Guldager Jørgensen, Head of GXN explains:

– GXNs constant strive for experimenting with the unknown can only be realized by the collective effort of many partners. Our multidisciplinary way of working with technology design and advanced structures proved invaluably important in this project, since the challenges that emerged during design and construction only where solvable once the knowledge from fields of architecture and engineering were combined.

Exterior View

Unique in design and technology

In several areas the Bella Chandelier is an example of pioneer work in creating light installations: Hence, the custom milled aluminum cores used as compression rods are merely 36 mm in diameter, making them the slimmest of their kind. Furthermore, the light and spacious expression of the Bella Chandelier is a result of its tensegrity structure where a perfect equilibrium of forces is reached through a precise balance of the elements. Never before has a tensegrity structure of this size been made with as high level of integrated and optimized design.

Exterior View

This extremely slim construction together with the integrated dynamic lighting makes the Bella Chandelier stand out worldwide as an extraordinary example of engineered art. At the same time the light sculpture perfectly reflects the architecture and design of the Bella Sky. With its 814 designer rooms The Bella Sky will be the largest hotel in Scandinavia when launching May 16.

Exterior View

3XN Designed Bella Sky Hotel to be a New Landmark on Copenhagen Skyline

The opening of Scandinavia’s largest hotel symbolizes not only the identity of the modern Ørestad area of Copenhagen, but also marks the Capital’s increasing importance on the international convention and congress scene.  The sculptural profile and visibility of the hotel from the various corners of Copenhagen make it an architectural landmark which will draw many visitors to the Ørestad neighbourhood.

Exterior View

With its 814 rooms and 30 conference rooms, the Comwell Bella Sky Hotel offers a wealth of new accommodation and resources for the Bella Convention and Congress Center in Copenhagen.  In future this will draw an even larger segment of the international world class conferences and events to Copenhagen.  3XN has designed the Bella Sky Hotel to create a distinct new profile on the Copenhagen skyline, with the two towers reaching up 76,5 meters, and leaning out at a staggering 15 degrees in each direction (11 degrees more than the leaning tower of Pisa).  This results in a sculptural building unique in Copenhagen which has started drawing many curious looks from all over the city.

Exterior View

A New Symbol for Ørestad, Copenhagen’s Newest Neighbourhood.

‘We have knowingly worked towards designing a building unlike anything else in Copenhagen – And we did that because Ørestad, which is a new city neighbourhood is also unlike any other place in Copenhagen.  Bella Sky is designed specifically to reflect the identity of Ørestad, contributing in a positive manner,’ says Kim Herforth Nielsen, Principal and Founder of 3XN.

3XN has also designed a large portion of the interior, and in that regard has aimed to differentiate itself from other hotels.

Side View

Mr. Nielsen goes on to say, ‘Most international convention hotels have a formal and impersonal style.  We wanted to address this by doing the opposite.  We designed the interior of Bella Sky in a style reminiscent of a tasteful Scandinavian home with warmth, light and connection to nature.’

Exterior View

The Director of Bella Center, Mr. Arne Bang Mikkelsen is delighted that the newest addition to the Bella Congress and Convention Center is more than just the sum of its parts.  He says, ‘We have received an architectural icon, a symbol for Bella Center and for Copenhagen, which through its unique form provides people with an experience, both from the outside as they approach the hotel and on the inside as they experience the many facilities and amenities offered.  The Hotel is so sculptural, that we have decided not to add any signage on the exterior.  The architecture speaks for itself.’ At the same time, the Director, Arne Bang Mikkelsen mentions that the collaboration with 3XN architects was ‘perfect.’

Exterior View

All Rooms with a View

The characteristic leaning towers are designed with purpose.  The fact that they lean away from each other ensures optimal guest views from both sides of each tower over the nature park ‘Amager Common’ and the Copenhagen rooftops just beyond.

‘Some of the best views can be found in Ørestad, and therefore it was important to find an architectural solution which allows views from nearly every room.  The effect of the leaning towers has also resulted in corner rooms where the building angles create a view which is actually underneath the room!   It gives the illusion of floating above the view itself,’ says Kim Herforth Nielsen.  ‘Of course, the most fantastic view of all is from the Hotel’s Skybar which is open to the public!’

Interior View

The Comwell Bella Sky Hotel will be opened on Monday, May 16th by Brian Mikkelsen, the Danish Minister of Business and Economic Affairs, and Frank Jensen, the Lord Mayor of Copenhagen.

Interior View

3XNs Bella Sky Hotel in Copenhagen:  Welcome to the Nordic Home With a relaxed, yet stylish interior strategy for the Bella Sky Hotel’s rooms, reception and conference rooms, 3XNs design aims were to give guests the impression of arriving at a tasteful Scandinavian home.

The Best from Nordic traditions:

‘Although Bella Sky is the Nordic region’s largest hotel, we have done everything to ensure that the hotel doesn’t give the typical impersonal and formal feeling that so often defines large hotels,’ says 3XN Architects’ founder and partner, Kim Herforth Nielsen.  ‘Therefore, we decided to interpret the overall theme as New Nordic Cool.  We looked at how Scandinavians approach the design of their homes, how they live – and then chose the best of our design tradition for the Bella Sky Hotel.  Key words for us were simplicity, functionality and high quality, both in design and materials.’

Interior View

Therefore anything synthetic was banned in the selection of materials for the hotel’s 814 rooms.  Carpets are in wool, bed sheets in high thread count cottons, and there is a prevailing use of natural materials such as smoked oak and leather found throughout the décor.  The smokey colour palette gives the rooms warmth and at the same time creates references to the Nordic nature, which is evident from the hotel views over the nature park, ‘Amager Common.’


3XN has chosen the best from the Nordic tradition in terms of furniture designers, and has used a strategy comprising both new and classic design from a selection such as Hay, Arne Jacobsen and Finn Juhl.  The common thread running through the chosen furniture, textiles and lamps, are round organic forms, which underline the informal and relaxed mood.

Interior View

Hotel Bella Sky Welcomes Guests With Arms Wide Open

In the Hotel’s lobby, guests are welcomed by a specially commissioned light sculpture from 3XN’s research and development department, GXN.  The Bella Chandelier contains over 7000 LED lamps, reflecting a changing program of cool and warm colours which are reminiscent of Nordic light.  The warm reception area is framed by a golden wooden wall, textured to give the impression of a bundle of logs.  Compact and mobile reception desks ensure a more personal service, where the hotel’s employees can welcome guests in an informal and relaxed manner.

Interior View

‘We wish to give the Hotel’s guests an experience of walking into a warm, relaxed and friendly space when they arrive at the Bella Sky Hotel.  The décor and the interior strategy aim to complement the personal service level, thus giving the guest an informal feeling of freedom from the very first impression.

The Bella Sky hotel opens today, the 16th of May where Minister of Economic and Business Affairs, Brian Mikkelsen and Lord Mayor of Copenhagen, Frank Jensen will officially open the hotel.


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