Born in collaboration with Johan Sundberg and Mattias Andreasson, Andrum is an experiential spa in Höör, Sweden, that offers a breathtaking setting for relaxation and tranquility.
- Design: Johan Sundberg Arkitektur and BAA
- Location: Höör, Sweden
- Completion: 2018
- Gross area: 875 m2
- Lead architects: Johan Sundberg and Mattias Andreasson
LOCATED IN HÖÖR, Sweden, Andrum is a spa built to complement the historically significant Åkerbergs Stiftsgården. In recent decades, the breathtakingly beautiful milieu with its buildings dating back to the 18th century has belonged to the Diocese of Lund, and has served as a conference center.
Andrum is a Swedish word meaning 'space for breathing'
Completed in 2018 and designed by Johan Sundberg and Mattias Andreasson, Andrum adds to the captivating atmosphere of the existing buildings, immersing – partly literally – in the surrounding nature and offering an experiential respite.
“The main source of inspiration was the site where the main buildings were placed on this elevated platform, enabling us to integrate the spa into the slope. Standing solitary, framed by age-old oak trees, the building evokes images of a temple or monastary,” architect Johan Sundberg tells Design Stories.
The minimalist façade made of unfinished concrete binds together a sense of brutality and vulnerability. The building, perfected with panes of wood paneling, throws itself into a dialogue with the surrounding nature. Large windows let natural light deep into the high rooms of the partially underground building and add a tangible lightness to its countenance. The terrace and outdoor pool made of natural stone give a taste of the serene atmosphere of the indoor spaces and create an interesting contrast to the rawness of the concrete.
The multi-sensory objective that guided the design process of Andrum is strongly present in the material choices of the different spaces.
Behind the harmonious, natural appearance, however, lies a rigorous technical design process. “Designing a spa with several different pools, temperature zones, complicated flows of clients, services and all the technical installations that come with that is just incredibly complex. It is more like designing a lab environment or a specialist surgical unit at a hospital than a regular building,” Sundberg reveals.
The interior spaces are divided into two parts: on the upper level and partly underground, you'll find treatment rooms and a yoga studio in addition to the entrance and lobby, while on the lower level you can enjoy sauna, steam, unique stone pools, and take in the energizing qualities of natural light flooding in from the grand windows. On the south-facing terrace you can bask and swim in the sun.
“A lot of people seem to come out of the Andrum experience with a sense of being transformed. The space provides such relaxation and stillness that visitors are able to turn their gaze inwards.”
Andrum's experiential rooms draw inspiration from the spa cultures of different countries – you can find references to the Turkish Hamam tradition, Iceland's healing hot springs as well as Finnish sauna culture. The skilfully designed space invites visitors together, but also leaves room for creating a personal retreat and having a moment to yourself.
The multi-sensory objective that guided the design process of Andrum is strongly present in the material choices. The tactile natural stone and concrete invite touch, the soft-toned wooden surfaces create a harmonious, intimate feel to the space, and both the acoustics and lighting design strengthen the sensory experience. Where possible, materials have been left untreated.
Andrum truly offers something for all the senses, yet its remarkable beauty needs to be highlighted separately. Bare, natural materials combined with highly thought-of detailing make the structure an impressive, unforgettable whole.
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Text: Mira Ahola Images: Peo Olsson