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Johan Sundberg Arkitektur, Blasberg Andreasson Arkitektur, Höör, Schweden

Breathing space: Recreation annex at Stiftsgården Åkersberg

Stiftsgården Åkersberg in Höör, Sweden, dates back to the late 17th century and today is a popular place for holidays and taking time out. Already used for conferences and conventions, the estate has now been complemented by a spa and recreational building.

Andrum, the name given the new building, is a Swedish word that translates as "breathing space" or "room to breathe". As such it expresses the guiding idea behind the concept for the new building by Johan Sundberg Arkitektur.

Andrum is located at the western end of the courtyard at Stiftsgården Åkesberg, and is subordinate in outer appearance to the existing buildings. The structure is partially built into a slope and oriented to the park located on its far side. 

Colonnades flanking the western edge of the courtyard and forming a connection between the estate hostel and Chapel of Peace now also delineate the foyer of the Andrum building while leading down to a lower level let into the slope. The result is a congruous series of rooms given over to various uses, such as a sauna, rain showers and steam baths, a waterfall and an indoor and outdoor pool. 

In the design particular attention was paid to light and visual aspects as well as tactile and acoustic qualities, bringing about diverse sensual impressions and a varied experience of the interior. Use was also made of materials left in their original form as far as possible, with the result that the rooms convey a mood of tranquillity and calm.

Generous use of daylight brings out the natural colours of the materials, with the light-coloured wood in the dry resting areas contrasting with the dark, rectilinear appearance of the natural stone at the pools.  Along with the special atmosphere that imbues the interior, a pronounced orientation to nature is also evident, particularly in the high rooms on the lower level, where the spa and treatment rooms to the park and the natural landscape open up on all sides.

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