construction starts for wendelstrand lakehouse by snøhetta
snøhetta and swedish real estate company next step group have broken ground on a much-anticipated lakehouse located within the outskirts of gothenburg, in sweden. set to be completed in 2024, the development is part of a larger project seeking to transform an old quarry into a new environmentally and socially sustainable neighborhood called ‘wendelstrand’. this newly introduced residential area offers varied eco-friendly housing typologies, diverse public areas, as well as a park that twist and turns within the complex, ending in a green roofscape atop the lakehouse — a communal building to be used and enjoyed by everyone living or visiting wendelstrand.
all images courtesy of snøhetta
a model for innovative housing
‘what started out as a lofty concept of healing a wound in the ground and regenerating the surrounding nature, has now manifested itself as a garden city with varied housing typologies suitable for any family,’ snøhetta shares about the wendelstrand project. ‘our ambition was to create something that exceeds a conventional neighborhood and breaks with traditional housing typologies.’
the lake house fully embodies the architects’ intentions, emerging as a multi-functional building that will provide the town’s first residents with various amenities (a restaurant, café, shops, event spaces, office spaces, a gym, and a wellness center) all under one common, green roof. following the natural topography, and incorporating sustainable materials, the lakehouse is designed to invite people in, on, and around it.
‘we hope lakehouse will be an important catalyst for creating enthusiasm, attractiveness, and cohesion in the area and become an inviting destination for the entire region. furthermore, we believe that this project can be a model for innovative and sustainable housing development focusing on wood as a building material and in that way bringing down the carbon footprint, not only in sweden, but throughout the nordic region,’ mentions rikard jaucis, senior architect at snøhetta.
‘in many ways, the lakehouse represents the whole area and the idea behind the project, and snøhetta did a great job interpreting our initial thoughts and bringing them to life. this is how we create a better way to build, live and enjoy life,’ says joakim garfvé, co-founder of next step group ( find more here).
from a quarry to a dreamy tree house
the ground floor and the two lower floors of the lakehouse accommodate most of the common functions of the building. the design of these spaces is heavily influenced by the rich history of the site, its previous function as a quarry, as well as the rocky surroundings. meanwhile, the top two floors take cues from tree houses to generate a dreamy tree canopy and a spiral wooden staircase.
the lakehouse incorporates multiple office spaces which facilitate the new and more flexible way of working. ‘having locally available and flexible office spaces don’t just offer an alternative to working from the kitchen table, you also save both precious time and CO2 emissions spent travelling,’ the snøhetta team mentions. in addition, the working space in lakehouse is being constructed out of cross-laminated timber, glulam, and natural materials. as a result, wendelstrand provides its residents with an inviting, green, and local office space fit for their future working life.
withstanding climate conditions and time
snøhetta’s focus has always been on creating a flexible design of high quality with the use of sustainable materials that can withstand the local climatic conditions in a way that emphasizes the intended use of the building. from the outside, the lakehouse is shaped in circular segments following the natural topography of the site that rise toward the south f the site. it is a building that is being shaped by and for nature, adapted to its new garden city.
as far as the choice of materials is concerned, snøhetta decided to prioritize the use of natural, local materials with high bound energy and low CO2 emissions. most of the construction is realized with wood and stone, while the color scheme is adapted to blend harmoniously with the surroundings. the architects have ensured the right proportion of glass in the façades to blur the line between interior and exterior and bring humans closer to nature.