A destination emerging from nature

Imagine a place where the architecture blends harmoniously with the mossy terrain as if it sprouted directly from the forest floor. Where each built structure seamlessly integrates into the dark green patchwork of the surrounding pinewoods, presenting itself as a serendipitous encounter which both honours and takes its inspiration from Swedish nature.

Älvdans, a design concept developed for Skanska, envisions just that. Acting as a paragon for what the future spa and hotel experience might look like, Älvdans is the epitome of a place for recreational activities. Here, guests will have a unique opportunity to reconnect with nature and immerse themselves in peaceful leisure time to recharge away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

If realised, Älvdans will offer a variety of amenities, including a world-class spa, hotel, restaurant, and conference facilities connected by a series of elevated timber paths gently touching the forest floor. By using locally sourced materials such as timber and natural stone, Älvdans will appear deeply rooted in its Nordic environment. The softened interaction between nature and architecture permeates every detail of the design and allows for sensuous experiences whether in the spa, the hotel corridors, or the restaurant.

The vision for Älvdans is to develop an inviting destination that caters to both locals, national and international guests travelling from afar, all drawn by the prospect of immersing themselves in nature and communal experiences. The design aims to foster connectivity and a strong sense of community, all while providing ample opportunity for introspection, solitude, and intimacy.

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Small pockets are created for tranquility, larger scenes for social gatherings and completely precise views of the sky and the undulating sway of the treetops. All through a playful and informal choreography - where nature is allowed to shape the architecture. Not the other way around.

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The entrance foyer is a central place that connects visitors with all the amenities of the place. A captivating entrance with a rich palette of natural materials that invites and welcomes visitors.

Älvdans sketches watercolour entrance commercial

The roof terrace of the renovated building with Skybar and ballroom offers expansive breathtaking sea views, perfect for a drink, a wedding or a conference.

Älvdans sketches watercolour view sea commercial

The large patios are oriented in different weather patterns and with different microclimates. The outdoor areas, together with the pavilion, make the outdoor season longer and even if the wind is blowing from the sea, the sun is strong or the drizzle is starting to fall, there is the opportunity to be outside and be part of nature.

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To strengthen the sense of belonging and community: the five "yards" represent earth, water, fire, air and space. These courtyards, atriums and terraces provide unique moments of calm, contemplation, well-being and experiences.

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The project interacts and points to the qualities of nature. We make room for nature to come up between the houses and extend the forest so that a coherent landscape feature is created over the entire complex.

Falsterbo Strandbad Spa Sweden View 02 AS
Hotel and spa
11,000 m²
Skanska & Elite Hotels
Landscape Architect:
Targeting LEED Platinum, climate neutral/plus energy building

With a hotel, restaurant, world-class spa, and conference facilities, Älvdans will cater to both local, national, and international visitors by offering a unique opportunity to submerge into nature, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Inspired by the spectacular Swedish landscape, the design concept interacts and points to qualities of the surrounding environment. The design is characterised by its generosity, allowing nature to take centre stage instead of being overshadowed by a collection of imposing architectural structures.

The careful consideration and appreciation for the surrounding environment are palpable through the selection of materials. By utilising locally sourced timber and stone, a direct connection is established between the buildings and the site, fostering an on-going dialogue between nature and the built environment – as well as the people visiting the site.

The hotel’s linseed oil treated wood facade offers a distinct and harmonious relationship with the pinewood forest and will age gracefully as time passes. All facades are insulated to ensure optimal indoor climate during summer and winter.

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Native species adorn the courtyards spaces, which offer a perfect location for outdoor activities such as yoga and mindfulness courses during summer or a shielded space for contemplation during the cold winter months.

Moving from the hotel to the spa, the restaurant, or out into nature for a hike, guests will be walking via corridors inspired by the old monasteries. An operatable glass façade allows for direct views into the inner courtyards, making the transition from A to B part of the overall experience of being close to nature

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"Älvdans blir något att längta till och uppleva alla dagar, året runt. Vintertid värmer brasan i lobbyn eller ett ångbad i spaanläggningen. En solig sommardag svalkar ett dopp i utomhuspoolen innan det är dags för en espresso i skuggan."
– Skanska Sverige
– Skanska Sverige
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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.

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The spa offers a wide range of therapeutic opportunities. Warm and cold baths, massage facilities, saunas, and swimming pools ooze bodily and mental wellbeing. The special attention to using locally sourced materials that characterizes the Älvdans concept is equally evident in both the indoor and outdoor facilities of the spa. Walls are cladded with recycled slate veneer as it offers great aesthetic value and is a highly sustainable material resistant to changing weather conditions and general abrasion. The floor tiles are also made from slate, while wooden beams adorn the ceilings to create a mysterious and sensuous frame for a poetic spa experience to 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.

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Upon arrival, guests will enter a warm and welcoming lobby with a bar and lounge area and a sunken seating zone with an open stone hearth that calls for relaxing activities. The exposed timber structure of the large sloping roof hovering above the lobby space references the vernacular Swedish barn. Transparent glass facades create a gradual transition between the inside and the outside to enforce the experience of being close to nature. 

All interiors are furnished with Scandinavian design to further strengthen the sense of a place and promote the Scandinavian design tradition relying on fine craftmanship, natural materials and harmony between function and aesthetics.

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In ancient folklore there was a notion that when the elves were dancing, smoke would form and sweep over the meadows. Today, the expression is commonly used as a reference to fog near the ground, which most often occurs in summer and autumn during clear and windless mornings, evenings, and nights. By using locally sourced materials, Älvdans will be deeply rooted in its natural environment and pay homage to its Nordic origins whilst exploring the softened interaction between nature and architecture.

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Inside the hotel rooms, the floors, ceilings, and walls are clad in locally sourced timber, and beds are raised to window height providing unobstructed views of the breath-taking natural surroundings – a motif which will change according to the season and time of day. To maximise the amount of natural daylight and fresh air, all rooms have double exposure.

A centrally located Pavilion (Green House) connects the lobby, hotel, spa, and conference facilities and will become a natural gathering point for guests and local visitors. With an outdoor kitchen, bar, and coffee shop, the Pavilion is the ideal place for social activities and breaks. The flexibility of the program makes the Pavilion an ideal host for various events such as Christmas Markets, food markets with locally produced food, or a Midsummer Festival.

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