Architecture from many eras
Hotel Continental was built in three phases on the triangular block formed by three roads: Stortingsgaten, Klingenberggaten and Olav Vs gate. The hotel represents three different architectural styles from different eras.
More than 60 years passed from the first part of Hotel Continental being built to completion of the final building. The different styles are most noticeable from the outside.
Building 1 – Art Nouveau or Jugendstil
The hotels’ oldest building was completed in 1900. The architect, Ivar Kock, had built many tenement buildings, villas and business premises in Kristiania in the 1890s. The detailing on buildings built in that era was primarily inspired by Renaissance and Baroque architecture, and the technical standard was extremely high for the era, with electric lighting, lifts and central heating.
The building is now on the Cultural Heritage Office’s official listing of protected buildings, sites and monuments in Oslo: Byantikvaren’s Yellow List.
Building 2 – Functionalism
Work started to build a new wing of Hotel Continental in August 1930. The Functionalist building, with Art Deco elements, was eight storeys high with a setback penthouse. The building was designed by architect Ole Øvergaard, and the new wing was inaugurated on 17 May 1932. In this construction phase, all the new hotel rooms had their own bathroom, and Hotel Continental got a central lobby that opens out on to Stortingsgaten.
This building too is on the Cultural Heritage Office’s official listing of protected buildings, sites and monuments in Oslo.
Building 3 – Modernism
When Hotel Continental decided to expand further with a third building at the end of the 1950s, architect Ole Øvergaard was once again commissioned, along with a team of experienced craftsmen. Bernt Heiberg was responsible for decorating the two new restaurants on the corner facing Vika. This time a new cladding method was used on the outside walls with enamelled steel sheets, lending the facade a bold, modern expression.