Size/ 11.000 m2
Client/ Skanska & Elite Hotels
Landscape Architect/ BOGL
Sustainability/ Targeting LEED Platinum, climate neutral/plus energy building

Älvdans is a design concept developed by Schmidt Hammer Lassen with Skanska and Elite Hotels. The concept presents a holistic approach to what the modern spa and hotel experience should be, one rooted deeply in reconnecting one with nature and restoring the surrounding natural beauty. Using locally sourced materials, a potentially realised project will directly link the local context and pay homage to its Nordic origins whilst exploring the softened interaction between nature and architecture.

As if it had grown directly out of the Swedish, moss-covered soil, Älvdans weaves into the mosaic of pinewood forest and reveals itself as a chance encounter grown and inspired by Swedish nature. Guests are drawn to the warmth and glow of the welcoming lobby. This central hearth gathers multiple functions and connects Älvdans' various amenities, including spa, hotel, restaurant, and conference facilities.

A large sloping roof hovers above the lobby space; this exposed timber structure references the Swedish vernacular barns. A centrally located skylight provides a view of the everchanging sky and, like a solar watch, allows daylight to dance through the room throughout the day.
A bar and lounge area and a sunken seating zone with an open hearth call for relaxing activities or a rest after a long journey, hike, or refreshing swim. Locally sourced natural materials, Scandinavian design furniture, and textiles and artworks contribute to a sensual and cosy atmosphere. The transparent glass facades create a gradual transition between the inside and the outside and enforce the experience of being close to nature.

The Älvdans is connected by a series of elevated timber paths gently touching the forest floor. These paths wind their way through the forest floor and link various amenities on site. Restoring the site's natural beauty was essential, and the architecture is reactive and highlights the site's natural qualities rather than imposing the design on it. By using locally sourced materials, the design concept secures a strong visual and material connection to the components that make up the Älvdans site. The hotel's linseed oil treated wood façade offers a distinct and harmonious relationship with the pinewood forest that will age gracefully as time passes. All facades are insulated to ensure optimal indoor climate during summer and winter.

Inspired by monastery corridors, rather than just acting as a place for transit between the hotel rooms and Älvdans' other amenities, the movement from A to B will become part of the overall sensual experience of being close to nature that characterizes Älvdans. The hotel's inner courtyards offer an oasis of calm, well-being, and social interaction. The hotel has an operatable glass façade facing the courtyard, which can be opened – or closed – depending on the weather conditions and secures natural ventilation during the warm season. During summer, the outdoor spaces are ideal for yoga, mindfulness, and meditation courses, while they offer a shielded outdoor space for contemplation during winter.

Each hotel room's walls, ceilings, and floors are timber clad with locally sourced wood. All beds are raised to window height to provide unobstructed views of the breath-taking natural surroundings – a motif that will change according to the season and time of day. This further ensures a tranquil experience for the guests. Furthermore, all rooms have double exposure to maximise the amount of natural light and air.

Cold of winter combined with the warmth of the spa, the gentle droplets of rain rippling on the pool surface as you swim, and the refreshing cool of the pool on a warm summer's day are among the moments and experiences the spa will afford.

Älvdans world-class spa experience is rooted in a reconnection with nature; the spa's atmosphere is both mysterious and sensual. The warm and cold baths, massages, saunas, and swimming pools offer a wide range of therapeutic opportunities. This world-class destination will attract local, regional, and international guests who will experience the spirit of the site and its natural wonders with isolated views, moments in time, and varying weather conditions throughout the day and year.

Recycled locally sourced materials are used to construct the spa's indoor and outdoor facilities. The walls are cladded with waste slate veneer – a material that offers great aesthetic value and is highly sustainable and resistant to changing weather conditions and general abrasion. Floor tiles made from slate and wooden beam ceilings create a poetic frame where the spa experience can unfold. Slate roofing and solar panels placed on the roof combined with geothermal heating and cooling are integrated to minimise the energy consumption of the spa.

The Pavilion (Green House) connects the Lobby, Hotel, and conference facilities and will become a natural gathering point in the centrally located community space. With an outdoor kitchen, bar, and coffee shop, the Pavilion is the ideal place for social activities and breaks for both guests and local visitors. Programmed with a degree of flexibility, the Pavilion can host various events such as Christmas Markets, food markets with locally produced food, or a Midsummer Festival.

The overall structure comprises reclaimed wooden beams, a wooden floor, and a campfire site made from local stone. Scandinavian design furniture orchestrates a dynamic and pulsating gathering point.

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