Refinery Reboot - Design Bureau

Refinery Reboot

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Gotland, Sweden's biggest island, lies off the south-eastern coast and is home to medieval cities, dramatic vistas and now a former limestone refinery turned eco hotel, Fabriken Furillen. In the late '90s, after spending a number of summers spent in the area, globe-trotting photographer Johan Hellström and his wife Anna-Karin left the city and moved their kids to the limestone quarry on a four square kilometer island of Furillen off the north-eastern coast of Gotland. The couple bought the site from cement company Cementa AB. Before that, the Swedish military had been using the island to patrol the Baltic Sea—the quarry shut down in the '70s. There, the Hellströms hosted visiting photographers as they gradually converted the limestone refinery into a hotel using local and recycled materials, giving the hotel's 18 rooms a minimalist, Swedish feel that echoes the building's industrial past. It helps that Hellström has left much of the industrial infrastructure and the quarry site in place. He's also added eremitkojor, or hermit cabins, on the 600 acre grounds for more escapism. There's also a conference room, bakery and restaurant on site, and space for fireside lounging. Hellström also took care to leave room and little distraction so the guests are as much the focus as the serene surroundings. Open year round, except January.

Nowness has even more photos of Fabriken Furillen.

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