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Architecture from several eras

Hotel Continental has been built in three phases on a triangular block formed by three streets: Stortingsgaten, Klingenberggaten and Olav Vs gate. 

It accordingly reflects architectural styles from several eras. More than 60 years passed from the construction of the first section of the hotel to its final completion. The different styles are most noticeable from the outside.

Building 1 – Art Nouveau or Jugendstil

The oldest part of the hotel was completed in 1900. Its architect, Ivar Kock, had been responsible for many tenements, villas and commercial buildings in Kristiania during the 1890s. Architectonic details in that era were inspired primarily by Renaissance and Baroque models. The technical standard of the hotel was extremely high for the time, with electric lighting, lifts and central heating. This section of Hotel Continental is now on the Oslo Cultural Heritage Management Office’s Yellow List of heritage sites and buildings worthy of conservation.

Building 2 – Functionalism

Work began on a new wing of Hotel Continental in August 1930. This Functionalist building, with Art Deco elements, was eight storeys high with a set-back penthouse. Designed by architect Ole Øvergaard, it opened on 17 May 1932. All the new rooms provided in this construction phase were en suite, and the hotel acquired a central lobby opening onto Stortingsgaten. This section is also on the Oslo Cultural Heritage Management Office’s Yellow List.

Building 3 – Modernism

When the decision was taken at the end of the 1950s to expand Hotel Continental with a third section, architect Ole Øvergaard was once again commissioned along with experienced construction contractors. Architect Bernt Heiberg was responsible for the interior design of the hotel rooms and the two new restaurants on the corner facing the City Hall. A new cladding method based on sheets of enamelled steel was now used on the outside walls, which gave the facade a bold expression.